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Scottish Government opens £29m fund for communities and third sector

Scottish Government opens £29m fund for communities and third sector

The Scottish Government announced £29m of new to support community and third sector projects that try new ways to tackle poverty and improve people’s lives last month.

£18.9 million is being directed into a new two-year Aspiring Communities Fund to help organisations find new, long lasting community led solutions to poverty, by increasing economic activity or enhancing services to meet local needs. This fund is currently open for applications until 7th April.

A £9.7 million Growing the Social Economy Programme will also enable third sector organisations to try new ideas and approaches by collaborating with research organisations or supporting people to improve their skills.

Funding of between £30,000 and £250,000 is available through this Fund, which is also open for applications until 17th February. The Programme will help third sector organisations to support people to move into better paid employment, increase household income, improve people’s skills and empower people to find solutions to poverty themselves.

The £29 million funding over the next two years supports the Fairer Action Plan, published last October. £12 million of the total funding comes from the European Social Fund.

At the launch, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:

“We are doing everything possible to create a more equal Scotland, and our Fairer Scotland Action Plan features 50 concrete actions to tackle poverty and inequality. This funding of £29 million will support communities and the third sector in developing new ways to help people overcome disadvantage.

“Over the next two years, the investment in these two Funds will deliver positive and innovative approaches to improve people’s lives through boosting skills or delivering new services to meet community needs – and crucially, giving people the power to take charge and make changes in their own communities.

“Almost half of this funding comes from the European Social Fund which promotes inclusive growth and supports those who are disadvantaged – and the best way to continue that support beyond 2020 is by maintaining Scotland’s relationship with Europe.”


Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via

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