Aberdeenshire groups urged to apply to Scotland Loves Local Fund

Groups working to transform towns and neighbourhoods across Aberdeenshire are being urged to apply to a new multi-million pound fund.

Thursday, 19th August 2021, 6:00 am
Scotland's Towns Partnership Chief Officer Phil Prentice (left) and Minister for Community Wealth Tom Arthur launch the Scotland Loves Local Fund. (Picture: Jamie Simpson/Scotland's Towns Partnership)

The Scottish Government has revealed details of the £10 million Scotland Loves Local Fund, a scheme which aims to encourage people to think local first, supporting businesses and enterprises in their community.

The programme will provide match funding of between £5,000 and £25,000 for projects run by groups such as town centre partnerships, chambers of commerce, community and charity trusts.

Administered by Scotland’s Towns Partnership (STP), it aims to bring new, sustainable, creative projects and activity to towns and neighbourhoods – helping build local wealth and increase footfall and activity, while supporting local enterprise partnerships.

Eligible projects could include community shops, marketing and digital schemes, or enabling larger construction project delivery.

Community Wealth Minister Tom Arthur said: “Whether it be funding for small-scale improvements or adaptations, climate or active travel programmes, home delivery digital schemes, pop up shops and markets, or the direct funding or expansion of Scotland Loves Local loyalty card schemes, communities will be able to decide how best to improve their local area.”

Applications for grants are open until Friday, October 1. A total of £2 million-worth of grants will be available this financial year.

STP chief officer Phil Prentice said: “This funding will unlock the great potential of our towns and neighbourhoods, allowing them not just to recover from the impact of Covid-19, but to create a stronger, more sustainable future which has localism at its heart.

"I would encourage interested organisations across Aberdeenshire to get their applications in.”

Last year, an initial Scotland Loves Local Fund to help with immediate issues caused by the pandemic saw a number of projects benefit.

They included support for two campaigns, Aberdeenshire Loves Local and a tourism-focused Rediscover Aberdeenshire, supporting 26 towns in Aberdeenshire.

More details about the Scotland Loves Local campaign – and how to apply to the new fund – can be found at www.lovelocal.scot.