Empowering communities

Three crates of apples on table with bunting and sign reading "community orchard"
Lisa Paton

The Investing in Communities Fund (ICF) is a streamlined communities fund that is delivered as part of the Empowering Communities Programme. Expected to reopen in April 2022, applicants should start preparing now.

The fund reflects the Scottish Government’s commitment to investing in communities so that they can develop the resources and resilience to decide their own aspirations, priorities and solutions in response. The fund supports the most disadvantaged or fragile communities to tackle poverty in all its forms on their own terms. 

The fund is designed to support organisations based in the places they serve delivering activity across all four of the following areas:

  • tackling poverty and inequality, including child poverty
  • developing and sustaining place based approaches
  • community-led regeneration
  • ensuring a just transition to net zero

Eligible applicant organisations that will be considered for support from the ICF are:

  • community/voluntary organisations
  • registered charity
  • housing association/housing co-operative/registered social landlord (RSL)
  • Community Council 
  • social enterprise/community benefit society/Community Interest Company (CIC) 

Grants of up to £350,000 in total will be available over the 3 year period from 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2026. The value of the fund is expected to be approximately £10 million each year.

Round two of the ICF is expected to open for applications in April 2022 and will close to applications approximately 4 weeks later. It’s recommended that applications are submitted as soon as possible after the fund opens. So if you’re thinking of applying, start the process now to build in time to develop your proposal(s) and to work collaboratively with your local community and wider partnerships before the fund opens for applications. Check out the helpful guidance available:

Please note that the funding guidance and application questions may still be subject to minor revisions between now and the opening of the fund, so do keep checking for updates.