A new fund designed to support local regeneration and drive green recovery around Scotland’s coast post Covid-19 has been launched.
The Sustainable Communities Fund has been set up by Crown Estate Scotland (CES) to ensure small communities get the necessary funds to “put their plans into action.”
The initiative opens for applications today and is made up of two different programmes, which could deliver a total investment of £750,000 over the next three years.
The Community Capacity Grants Programme is open to all communities within five miles of Scotland’s coastline or one of Crown Estate Scotland’s four rural estates.
It will provide early stage financial support grants ranging between £10,000 and £50,000 for community projects aimed at local regeneration and sustainable development.
The Environment Grants Programme is available to CES tenants and will provide grants of between £5,000 and £20,000 for projects which can deliver obvious environmental benefits within 18 months of award.
Typical initiatives could include ways to increase local biodiversity and activities to reduce flood risk, pollution or carbon emissions.
Simon Hodge, Chief Executive of Crown Estate Scotland, said: “We know that across Scotland communities sometimes struggle to get local projects off the ground because they cannot source support early enough. Now more than ever these communities need the opportunity – and funds – to put their plans into action.
“The community capacity funding is designed to help kickstart long-term change, driven by local people, while the environment programme will support projects that are ‘oven-ready’.
“Together these programmes reflect our drive to invest in and enable green recovery at a local level. We want to help communities get on with doing what they do best – responding to local needs in a way that provides lasting benefits.”
Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, Roseanna Cunningham said: “Communities across the country are playing a vital role in maintaining our resilience, our spirit and local support networks during the Covid-19 outbreak. They will also play a critical role in our recovery from the pandemic.
“The launch of Crown Estate Scotland’s Sustainable Communities Fund will provide tangible support to help deliver a green recovery in coastal communities – who are also benefitting this year from £9.7 million of Crown Estate asset revenues – as well as its rural estates.”