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Boost to community-led regeneration projects

1st April 2014

Photograph of Boost to community-led regeneration projects

£3m funding to support community groups and organisations.

Around 50 community-led organisations have been identified to receive investment of up to £3 million which will support the regeneration of areas throughout Scotland.

Housing and Welfare Minister Margaret Burgess announced the funding, which will be delivered through the Scottish Government’s Strengthening Communities Programme, during a visit to GNH Life Centre in Glenboig today (Tuesday).

The funding will support emerging community groups and provide direct investment to community organisations to increase their capacity in order to make them more sustainable while empowering local people through community ownership.

Initiatives will respond to local community needs by developing activities such as advocacy projects, community windfarms, environmental action and transferring assets into community ownership.

Some of the funds have already been allocated, with GNH Life Centre – a community run facility offering services for local residents – receiving £88,000 to employ a development manager to help transfer the centre into community ownership and to develop activities and services for the local community. This will include managing the re-location of local post office facilities into the community centre by May 2014.

During her visit Mrs Burgess met with project staff and parents and children attending the centre’s toddlers group.

Mrs Burgess said:“Investing in community organisations is absolutely key for creating change at a local level within communities.

"The aim of the Strengthening Communities Programme, which will benefit up to 50 local initiatives, is to help build capacity in local communities and inject new life into some of Scotland’s most disadvantaged areas. This new investment will support the aims of our forthcoming Community Empowerment (Scotland) Bill.

“This government puts community-led change at the heart of our regeneration strategy, recognising that community involvement is integral to the success of the design and delivery of local economic and social regeneration initiatives.

“Through the Strengthening Communities Programme we will test the impact of targeted investment within communities. It is only by improving on community-based initiatives and empowering local people that we will see real, sustainable change.”

Fiona Garvin, Director of the Scottish Community Development Centre, said:“Scottish Community Development Centre welcomes the Scottish Government’s investment in the Strengthening Communities Programme. We believe that strong communities and strong community organisations are vital elements of community-led regeneration. Our support to these organisations is designed to help them develop their strengths, increase local activity and work with others to take the next steps in regenerating their communities.”

Ian Cook, Director of the Development Trusts Association Scotland, said:“Our members across Scotland have consistently raised the issue of the need for core funding to build capacity in community anchor organisations. Development Trusts Association Scotland therefore welcomes the Strengthening Communities programme and is delighted to be invited to be a key delivery partner.”

Rachael McCormack, Director of Strengthening Communities with Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), said:"We are delighted to be working so closely with the Scottish Government and partners on this Scotland wide initiative. HIE and its predecessor have played a leading role in community development across half of Scotland for almost 50 years, and we welcome the new opportunities which this programme will extend across Scotland.

“The new Scottish Government Strengthening Communities programme is very well aligned with the development needs of the communities it is seeking to enable, and is designed to bring about a significant step change in the resilience of the community groups which take part."

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