£17 million CashBack funding allocated

Youth projects share cash seized from criminals.

Groups helping some of Scotland’s most disadvantaged young people are to receive funding support of £17 million.

A total of 17 organisations have been awarded the money, seized from criminals operating in Scotland, in the latest round of CashBack funding.

The successful projects will provide opportunities in employability, sport, creativity and diversionary youth work to help raise the attainment, aspirations and ambition of disadvantaged young people across Scotland.

Justice Secretary Michael Matheson made the funding announcement at a visit to the National Autistic Society Scotland. The charity, who will use the money to support young people with autism into employment, recently revealed that less than 16% of autistic people are in full-time paid work.

Mr Matheson said:

“With this money we are supporting Scotland’s most disadvantaged young people to reach their full potential in life, helping them to learn new skills, boost their confidence and become responsible people.

“We have already supported thousands of young people through our CashBack initiative with £75 million committed and nearly two million activities and opportunities offered since 2008. With this latest funding we demonstrate our commitment to tackle inequality and keep young people active in their communities.

“Through CashBack we are punishing those who break the law and directing their ill-gotten gains directly back into Scotland’s communites.

“A total of 17 groups across Scotland will benefit from this money, providing support and training which could change lives.”

Director of The National Autistic Society Scotland, Jenny Paterson, said:

“A significant autism employment gap exists in our society. Just 32 per cent of autistic people are in employment - compared to 47 per cent of disabled people and 80 per cent of non-disabled people.

"Cashback for Communities will play a vital role in closing this gap by funding our employment support service in Scotland, which helps autistic people to prepare for work and employers to understand the condition.  

“The benefits of the funding will be felt right across Scotland: autistic people will increase in independence and confidence, employers will gain their skills and commitment, and taxpayers will save on out-of-work benefit payments.”

Head of Creative Learning at Creative Scotland, Joan Parr, said:

“Creative Scotland is delighted to be part of the CashBack phase 4 programme. Arts, screen and creative organisations have been involved in cashback since its inception, they have changed many young lives and we really value the opportunity to continue making an impact in communities across Scotland."


Phase 4 of the CashBack for Communities Programme will run from 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2020. The opening of the fund for applications was announced on 23 May 2016.  Funding comes from money collected through the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

Groups to benefit from the latest CashBack funding will be:

  • Barnardo’s*
  • The Wise Group*
  • Impact Arts*
  • Venture Trust*
  • National Autistic Society*
  • Bridges Project*
  • Ocean Youth Trust Scotland
  • Celtic FC Foundation
  • Creative Scotland
  • Action for Children
  • Scottish Rugby Union
  • Scottish Sports Futures
  • Prince’s Trust Scotland
  • Youth Scotland
  • Scottish Football Association
  • YouthLink Scotland
  • Basketball Scotland

*Groups which are receiving CashBack funding for the first time.

More details on individual projects are available on request.

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