Voluntary groups invited to bid for £18m Scottish Executive community funding

    The Scottish Executive is injecting £18m into the
    country’s most deprived communities allowing voluntary and
    community organisations to bid only if they are commercially
    competitive, announced the Scottish Executive, writes
    Shirley Kumar
    .

    In an attempt to change the investment culture of the sector, the
    Executive wants organisations to become “self sufficient
    businesses,” where they are able to make a profit that will
    be reinvested back into the communities they serve.

    It hopes to help 500 organisations develop their services over a
    two-year period with greater emphasis on allowing the sector to
    gain equal access to service delivery contracts.

    Priority will be given to projects that will regenerate the most
    deprived communities in Scotland and services for and run by young
    people.

    Scottish Executive communities minister Margaret Curran said:
    “I’m clear this is not about handouts for failing
    businesses, or for giving one sector preference over another.
    It’s about laying out a structure of support to drive forward
    progress and about supporting those who really deliver on the
    ground.”

    The funding will be managed by a new Social Economy Unit under
    Communities Scotland and is expected to be available from
    October.

    It includes a £16m Direct Investment Fund, with £12m
    allocated to medium to large sized organisations. Around 70 per
    cent of the fund will be devoted to capital investment projects,
    which will allow organisations to gain access alternative sources
    of funding.

    A £4m Seedcorn Fund will allow smaller, community focused
    organisations to develop their services and the Social
    Entrepreneurs Fund will provide grants of up to £5,000 to
    enable individual entrepreneurs to turn local ideas into live
    projects.

    Around £1m has also been allocated for training and £1m
    to fund a support programme.

     

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