Connecting Scotland programme funding to expand to £43 million.
Organisations that work with digitally excluded families and young people in care are being encouraged to get involved with a programme aiming to get more people online.
Funding for Connecting Scotland, which aims to give low income families and individuals an internet device as well as twelve months unlimited data and technical support has now reached £43 million. This follows the announcement of an additional £23 million as part of Programme for Government earlier this month.
With around a hundred applications already received for the current phase of the programme, local authorities and third sector bodies have another three weeks to seek support for the families and care leavers they work with, with further details on how the additional funding will work expected next month.
Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell said:
“The pandemic has emphasised the importance of digital connectivity – for education, for access to public services and online shopping, and for staying in touch with friends and family. However, it has also heightened the impact of digital exclusion.
“Over the next 15 months, the Connecting Scotland programme will make a significant contribution towards closing that digital divide by helping many more households to benefit from technology through issuing devices along with offers of support and data.
“By the end of next year it will have brought approximately 50,000 people online, underpinned by an additional £23 million Scottish Government funding. I will be able to announce details of the programme’s next phase, including the groups of people that I believe will be particularly able to benefit in the coming weeks.
“However, it is absolutely crucial that anyone who could benefit from the scheme has the chance to do so which is why I hope local authorities and our third sector partners will help identify even more people needing this kind of support.”
Organisations can apply for phase 2 up to 11am on 5 October.
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