Regeneration plays a vital role in supporting sustainable economic growth, by tackling area inequality, addressing market failure, and increasing opportunities for areas of need to attract investment and jobs. The Regeneration Strategy, Achieving a Sustainable Future, was published in December 2011 and announced funding of £175 million over the Spending Review period.
The key elements are:
- tackling area-based deprivation by reforming how mainstream resources are used and working together more effectively;
- a stronger focus on community-led regeneration; and
- realising the economic potential of Scotland's communities through focused funding and other support mechanisms.
Key funding measures include:
- The Scottish Partnership for Regeneration in Urban Centres (SPRUCE), Scotland's £50 million Joint European Support for Sustainable Investment in City Areas (JESSICA) investment loan fund, was launched on 12 December 2011;
- £75 million of grant funding for capital regeneration projects over the Spending Review period, including £48 million for Urban Regeneration Companies in the first two years;
- the £25 million per annum Regeneration Capital Grant Fund, developed in partnership with Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, from 2014-15 provides support to deliver large-scale improvements to deprived areas, focussing on projects that engage and involve local communities and can deliver sustainable regeneration outcomes.
- over £26 million to tackle vacant and derelict land over the Spending Review period; and
- a £7.9 million per annum People and Communities Fund supporting community anchor organisations to deliver local regeneration priorities, augmented in 2015/16 (including £5.6 million from the Empowering Communities Fund) to take total spend in that year to £15 million.
Progress since 2008 includes:
- over £372 million directly invested in regeneration activity up to 2015-16;
- Town Centre Regeneration Fund: £60 million of funding provided to town centres across Scotland in 2009-10 to deliver a range of regeneration outcomes;
- over £200 million invested in Urban Regeneration Companies (URCs). The following outputs have been delivered: over 130,000 square metres of business space; over 5,000 jobs created or retained and over 1,600 training places; over 145 hectares of vacant and derelict land remediated or developed; over 1,900 houses and 2 primary schools built. In addition, over £369 million of direct and indirect private sector investment has been generated on the back of public sector investment;
- Scottish Partnership for Regeneration in Urban Centres (SPRUCE), £50 million Joint European Support for Sustainable Investment in City Areas (JESSICA) Loan fund was fully invested in 7 projects by the end of 2015 and is now in the recycling period;
- the Regeneration Capital Grant Fund has funded 40 projects as from 2014-15;
- the Vacant and Derelict Land Fund: £73.21 million of funding provided to tackle vacant and derelict land in five local authority areas;
- a Town Centre Action Plan was published on 7 November 2013 in response to the outcomes of the national review of town centres; and the Town Centre First Principle agreed with Convention of Scottish Local Authorities in 2014; and
- a £2.75 million Town Centre Housing Fund is supporting a range of demonstration projects to test how empty town centre properties can be brought back into use for affordable housing.