£2 MILLION FOR LOCAL COMMUNITIES
NEW FUNDING TO TACKLE POVERTY.
Communities in the Highlands and Islands have been awarded more than
£2million to find new ways to overcome poverty.
The funding will benefit 22 community and third sector groups who will
use the investment to deliver innovative and long-lasting projects which
tackle inequality and poverty, support inclusion, and improve people’s
The projects span across arts and heritage, local history and
environment, creative writing, and music and dance. They include
mentoring schemes for young people, developing local energy companies,
supporting community transport, outdoor learning and skills building
The funding will be delivered through the Aspiring Communities Fund
(ACF) and is supported through the European Social Fund.
Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell visited Ecologia Youth Trust’s_
Growing2gether in the Community_ project in Inverness today to announce
the new funding, and meet some of the participants.
Ms Campbell said:
“Local communities understand what works in their own areas, and this
funding will enable them to help create a more equal Scotland.
“It will support organisations across the Highlands and Islands to
deliver tangible, innovative approaches to improve lives, based on local
priorities, and will address poverty and inequality in their area.
“Each of the projects backed by the Aspiring Communities Fund is
empowering and enabling local people to tackle the disadvantages they
face, leaving a long-lasting positive impact on their communities and
Diana Whitmore, Director of Ecologia said:
“With this generous grant we will be able to transform the wellbeing,
relationship skills and community engagement of over 200 deserving young
people and children throughout nine communities in Highland. We are
grateful to the Scottish Government for the opportunity to support young
people to flourish in their communities, to build their social skills
and to realise and recognise how much they have to contribute”.
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (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 and will help to strengthen
community resilience, sustainability and quality of life. It’s great to
see projects in the Highlands and Islands receiving support through this
fund which will help them deliver new initiatives and services for their
Annie Macsween, chair of Comunn Eachdraidh Nis said:
“Comunn Eachdraidh Nis is very pleased to have been awarded this funding. As the refurbishment of CEN nears completion new opportunities are being created for the community to make use of the enhanced facility. We welcome Donna to her new role as Community Engagement Officer and would encourage you to pass your ideas to her. She can be contacted on 01851 810 377 or email@example.com . Tha sinn a’ coimhead air adhart ri bhith a’ cluinntinn bhuaibh.”
The £2 million is part of the overall £24.8 million Aspiring
Communities Fund  which supports projects that will tackle poverty
and inequality at a local level. To date, more than £15m of ACF has
been committed. The fund is supported through the European Social Fund
 to enhance social inclusion and combat poverty across Scotland.
The funding includes European Social Funds and supports the Scottish
Government’s Fairer Scotland Action Plan.
The awards will not be affected by Brexit, as HMT have guaranteed EU
Funds to approved projects before the UK leaves the EU. The Scottish
Government has passed on this guarantee to all approved projects.