Fund to strengthen communities

Discussion

The Scottish Government has announced that additional funding will be allocated to the Strengthen Communities programme, giving 26 community-led projects focused on improving their local areas a share of £668,000. 

The Strengthening Communities programme is focused on supporting community organisations to develop their sustainability and resilience. SCDC is a member of the programme board and has led a capacity building programme, Supporting Communities.

This additional funding will help build the capacity of local organisations and allow communities to deliver initiatives which respond to their aspirations. It is part of the extra £10 million announced in the Programme for Government, to give people and communities the powers to address inequalities. This new funding comes on top of the £3 million which was allocated to around 50 projects in April 2014.

Community Empowerment Minister Marco Biagi revealed the successful community groups on a visit to Mac Arts in Galashiels which will receive support towards its long-term aim of converting a former council building into a multi-purpose arts facility. He said:

"I am delighted that 26 innovative projects across Scotland will be able to benefit from £668,000 of funding from the Strengthening Communities Programme. Very often, it is the people within their own communities who can best identify how their areas should be improved, which is why this increased investment and support for these local projects is so crucial.

"This investment shows exactly what we want our Community Empowerment (Scotland) Bill to achieve. The Bill, which reaches its final stage next month, will support and make it easier for groups to tackle inequalities in their areas, it will give communities more powers to take over assets and will strengthen their voices in the decisions that matter to them."

Other new projects to benefit from SCP include the Crossroads Community Hub in Ayrshire which is working to redevelop an old school site into a food and education hub. Balornock East Residents Association in Glasgow's new community centre plans and the Unst Partnership in Shetland's community renewables and waste recycling schemes will also benefit.

Dave Angus from Mac Arts said:

‘This award from the Strengthening Communities Programme will allow the Duncan MacKinnon Music and Arts Trust to further develop Mac Arts into the Borders' leading music and arts venue.

"As a charitable organisation that relies on volunteers, this is a fantastic boost that will help us ensure that Mac Arts is able to provide top quality entertainment and arts space for everyone in our local community."

You can read more here.

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