New fund opens to support future rural community development

RCTC logo
Hannah Downey

Delivering test of change pilots for Community Led Local Development (CLLD)

Local Action Groups in rural and island Scotland are now able to apply for grants of up to 75k through the Rural Communities Testing Change (RCTC) Fund for projects which will test new approaches to delivering CLLD.

The fund forms part of the £3m fund announced earlier this year in the Scottish Budget, to deliver CLLD test of change pilots before March 2022.

Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon said,

“This fund is an important opportunity to build on the legacy of LEADER funding, and explore new options for delivering Community Led Local Development through place-based partnerships.

A key criteria for the fund is that projects must advance equality, inclusion and diversity – for example engaging with young people and including the seldom-heard voices in rural communities in the decision making process for CLLD.

These tests of change will inform how we better align community based activity to meet community priorities, ensuring that this activity recognises and responds to distinct local opportunities and challenges.”

Peter Ross, Chair of the Scottish CLLD Chairs Group said;

"I am pleased and gratified to welcome today the launch of the Rural Communities Testing Change Fund by the Scottish Government. It provides rural communities the means to trial and test new ways to deliver future-proofed development which will improve life’s opportunities for all who live, work and enjoy Scotland’s countryside."

The RCTC fund will be delivered in two tranches. The first tranche includes two streams of funding to support Local Action Groups (LAGs) to build local capacity and opens for bids on July 5th.

Stream 1 of the fund is a £1 million pot to be allocated equally across participating LAGs, to help the LAGs trial new ways of working. Stream 2 is a ringfenced pot of £400k which will also be made available to the LAGs via a bidding and assessment process. Bids of up to £75k will be welcomed from LAGs as well as in conjunction with other delivery partners.

The remaining funding will be delivered via a second Tranche and will focus on smaller, micro-grants. Scottish Government officials are working to identify lead delivery partners for the second Tranche.

The deadline for applications will be August 13th and the second tranche of funding will be made available by September this year.


Background information

The first tranche of the RCTC fund is open to applications from Local Action Groups and Accountable Bodies only.

Twitter: @scotruralnet #RCTCfund