Funding for rural communities
Over 180 diverse projects across rural Scotland, will receive grants ranging from £100,000 to less than £500, from the Rural & Island Communities Ideas into Action (RICIA) fund.
The fund encourages and supports not-for-profit community groups with innovative approaches to community-led local development which include solutions to net zero and just transition goals, tackling rural poverty and supporting rural communities through the cost crisis.
Projects include building of mountain bike trails to bring in new visitors and provide sports opportunities to the local community, opening up a community hall as a ‘warm space’ over the winter months and providing suppers to alleviate rising costs, purchasing of educational equipment by a community centre to benefit the psychological and mental health of local children, and installation of solar thermal panels at a community hub to help manage electricity costs.
The funding forms part of the Scottish Rural Development Programme and is being delivered in partnership between the Scottish Government and Inspiring Scotland.
Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Islands Mairi Gougeon said:
“I am pleased to see a diverse and impactful range of projects availing of this opportunity. We remain committed to ensuring that our rural and island communities take advantage of local opportunities and are empowered to tackle local challenges.
“This investment comes at a critical time for our rural and island communities who are facing disproportionate impact of the cost crisis when compared to the rest of the country.
“I look forward to seeing how these grants support communities in their endeavours and I wish them the very best.”
Inspiring Scotland CEO Celia Tennant said;
“We’re delighted to continue to support the Scottish Government to deliver the Rural and Islands Communities Ideas into Action Fund.
We know local, grassroots groups are best placed to respond to the needs and opportunities most important to their communities. We look forward to working alongside successful applicants and will support them to make meaningful change in their local area.”
The Rural & Island Communities Ideas into Action (RICIA) fund forms tranche 2 of the £11.6m invested in Community Led Local Development in 2022/23. RICIA projects will complete by March 31st 2023.
Earlier this year Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon approved a hybrid approach to deliver this year’s £11.6m Fund. This approach saw the majority of the funding directed to the LEADER Local Action Groups (£7.6m), with a second tranche (£4m) to be delivered via two routes;
- a £1m funding top up to accelerate cooperative projects between the Local Action Groups and new external partners.
- a £3m ‘Rural Communities Ideas into Action’ fund to be delivered directly to community groups via Inspiring Scotland with input from Local Action Groups.
A full list of funded projects can be found here