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Funding Opportunity - April deadline for major communities fund

13th March 2017

Photograph of Funding Opportunity - April deadline for major communities fund

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is encouraging community bodies and third sector organisations across the region to consider applying to the Aspiring Communities Fund.

The £18.9 million fund is being run as part of the European Social Fund, with the Scottish Government as lead partner. The deadline for the first round of applications is 7 April.

The fund will support community-led projects to develop and deliver services that address local needs.

There is an emphasis on partnership between the public or private sectors and community groups, with a shared interest in exploring new and sustainable ways of working to improve local services.

HIE works with more than 200 community groups and social enterprises across the region and supported the development of the fund.

Douglas Cowan, HIE's director of strengthening communities, said:"The fund offers a significant opportunity for community organisations across the Highlands and Islands to develop and design a range of locally relevant services to address local circumstances and needs. It is designed to empower communities, helping those missing out on services such as childcare to put in place appropriate solutions. This in turn will help to strengthen community resilience, sustainability and quality of life. I would urge community bodies looking to improve services in their area to consider applying to the fund for assistance."

The fund is open to community bodies, including community anchor groups, third sector and other organisations established to promote or improve the interests of communities. They will be expected to form meaningful partnerships with public or private sector organisations to deliver new initiatives and/or services for their communities.

Successful projects will be aligned with the aims of local authority and Community Planning Partnership plans, particularly the outcomes that meet local priorities. They will put communities first by involving local people in the process and support the aims of the Fairer Scotland Action Plan.

More information about the fund, including the application process, is available at -
http://www.gov.scot/Topics/People/15300/ESFTPSI/AspiringCommunities

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