£18 million to help level up communities across Scotland

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PM and Scottish Secretary Alister Jack on Copland Dock as part of their tour of Orkney and the Highlands earlier this year. Picture by Andrew Parsons / No 10 Downing Street.

More than 50 projects across Scotland are set to receive UK Government investment to help people into work, boost productivity and deliver net zero.  

The Community Renewal Fund will pilot new programmes that invest in people, boost skills and support local business – to build more communities that people are proud to call home.  

The £200 million Fund is supporting almost 500 projects in towns, villages and coastal communities across the whole United Kingdom to ensure that no place is left behind as the UK Government delivers on its commitment to level up the country.

Many of the successful projects are supporting the UK’s path to net zero carbon emissions, giving businesses creating clean technology a boost and ensuring that jobs are future proof. For example, £407,000 will create a Seaweed Academy in Argyll and Bute, providing training and education in seaweed farming. This money will help supercharge regional growth in an industry which has a crucial role to play in the UK’s net zero ambitions.

Other projects being funded include:  

  • £979,710 for Dumfries and Galloway to develop an investment-ready plan for a carbon-neutral ‘21st Century Village’, with 470 smart, adaptable new homes.
  • £218,739 to fund employment and wellbeing initiatives for housing association residents in the Scottish Borders. This will offer residents digital skills, financial literacy, and mental health support.
  • £503,880 for North Lanarkshire to give the local community practical and personal development support on their doorstep to help them into employment.
  • £306,000 to fund street performances and culture festivals in Aberdeen city centre, placing artists at the heart of the city’s recovery from the pandemic and creating employment and training opportunities in Aberdeen’s creative industries.
  • £306,000 to provide skills training to 16-24 year olds in Inverclyde to help them secure employment.  
  • £187,272 to support the development of electric vehicle charging across the whole of the Scottish Borders to benefit residents, the public sector and businesses and ensure maximisation of commercial opportunities and reduction in carbon footprint.

Secretary of State for Levelling Up Michael Gove said:  

As we unite and level up the whole United Kingdom, we are determined to help communities the length and breadth of the country make the most of their talents and create new opportunities in their areas.

The funding we are announcing today supports local projects across Scotland, from the Borders to Na h-Eileanan Siar, which will create new jobs and help us to achieve net zero carbon emissions.

Secretary of State for Scotland Alister Jack said:

It’s great to see the UK Government’s efforts to level up all parts of the United Kingdom continue at pace.

This £18 million for 56 projects will help strengthen communities across Scotland. From helping to develop a 21st Century carbon-neutral village, to boosting skills, employment and enterprise, encouraging tourism, supporting performing arts and investment in cyber and digital – this money is being spent on projects that matter most to people.

Combined with the money announced at Budget and our region deals funding, the UK Government is investing more than £1.7 billion into Scottish projects – levelling up communities by working in partnership with local organisations to build on regional strengths.

This is real devolution in action which will help local areas thrive as we build back better, stronger and greener from the pandemic.

Local authorities were invited to bid for funding from the Community Renewal Fund in May 2021.  

The £200 million funding through the UK Community Renewal Fund will help local areas prepare for the launch of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund in 2022, the scheme that will see UK-wide funding at least match EU money, reaching around £1.5 billion a year.  

In last week’s Budget, the UK Government announced investment of more than £173 million directly into communities in Scotland, through the Levelling Up and Community Ownership funds, for big regeneration projects and smaller community initiatives. 

The full list of projects in Scotland is represented on this map.

Further information is available on all three funds, the Community Renewal Fund, the Community Ownership Fund and the Levelling Up Fund, including the full lists of successful bids

The published methodology  used to identify places in need of funding is also available.

Investment from EU Structural Funds will continue to be spent by local areas until 2023 and the Government has committed to at least matching EU receipts through the new UK Shared Prosperity Fund, on average reaching around £1.5 billion a year.

This new Fund, to be launched in 2022, will operate throughout the UK and play a part in uniting and levelling up the whole country. 

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