New funding to tackle poverty and improve lives

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon visits Plantation Productions in Govan
Norette Ferns

First Minister Nicola Sturgoen has announced £29 million of funding for community and third sector projects that try new ways to tackle poverty and improve people's lives.

The funding over the next two years supports the Fairer Scotland Action Plan, which was published in October 2016.

The Scottish Government will direct £18.9 million into the new Aspiring Communities Fund to help organisations find new, long-lasting community-led solutions to poverty, by increasing economic activity or enhancing services to meet local needs.

‎The £9.7 million Growing the Social Economy Programme will enable third sector organisations to try new ideas and approaches by collaborating with research organisations or supporting people to improve their skills.

£12 million of the total funding comes from the European Social Fund.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was announced the funding at Plantation Productions, an arts charity in Govan:

The First Minister said:

"We are doing everything possible to create a more equal Scotland, and our Fairer Scotland Action Plan features 50 concrete actions to tackle poverty and inequality. This funding of £29 million will support communities and the third sector in developing new ways to help people overcome disadvantage. 

"Over the next two years, the investment in these two funds will deliver positive and innovative approaches to improve people’s lives through boosting skills or delivering new services to meet community needs - and crucially, giving people the power to take charge and make changes in their own communities.

"Almost half of this funding comes from the European Social Fund which promotes inclusive growth and supports those who are disadvantaged - and the best way to continue that support beyond 2020 is by maintaining Scotland's relationship with Europe."

Moya Crowley, Project Manager at Plantation Productions said:

"As a community arts and media charity embedded in the heart of Govan, Glasgow, Plantation Productions very much welcomes this news. It is extremely encouraging to see the commitment of the Scottish Government in strengthening the third sector and local communities through this funding.

"For organisations like Plantation Productions, the Aspiring Communities Fund and Growing Social Economy Programme promise a very optimistic view for the future. With strained resources, this funding offers an opportunity to maintain, develop and grow community led initiatives, respond to local aspirations and needs and support the most deprived communities in Scotland."

More about the funding

Aspiring Communities Fund

This fund will support disadvantaged communities across Scotland and will be open at the end of January 2017. It  will support applications from organisations working collaboratively to accelerate the delivery of community-led initiatives to deliver outcomes that meet local needs and priorities. The Fund will strengthen communities, increase levels of economic activity, stimulate inclusive growth, and support local service provision and inclusion by:

  • Enabling communities to design and establish new or enhanced services addressing poverty and inequalities
  • Supporting new staff posts within community organisations to increase levels of economic activity, local service provision and inclusion, and enhance community resilience
  • Accelerating the implementation of projects and services delivering longer lasting community-led solutions

Growing the Social Economy Programme

Funding of between £30,000 and £250,000 is available and the programme is open to applications. 

The programme will enable third sector organisations to support people to move into better paid employment, increase household income, improve people's skills and empower people to find solutions to poverty themselves. It will also support social innovation through collaboration between the third sector and research organisations - bringing people together from different backgrounds to design and test innovative approaches to social problems. 

Visit the Scottish Government website for more information about the funding.

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