Supporting local communities

Funding to tackle poverty.

Community and third sector projects have been allocated a share of £29 million, to find new ways to tackle poverty and improve people’s lives.

The funding, which includes £12.5 million from the European Social Fund, supports the Fairer Scotland Action Plan, published last year. It will benefit around 170 community and third sector groups who will use the investment to deliver projects tackling inequality and supporting inclusion.

The new projects will enable communities to design, test and deliver innovative approaches to combat poverty and improve people’s lives, with each project having a longlasting impact for their community.

Communities Secretary Angela Constance announced the allocation during a visit to West Calder and Harburn Community Development Trust. The organisation will receive £247,000 to employ five development workers to engage with some of the most deprived communities in the area, working to identify and address barriers to participation and accessing community facilities.

Ms Constance said:

“We aim to create a more equal Scotland and want communties to play a part in that. This funding will support local organisations to develop their own ways to address poverty and inequality, in their own areas.

“The successful projects will deliver tangible but innovative approaches to improve lives, based on local people’s priorities, and ensure a genuine impact for individuals and communities.  

“For West Calder, that means new jobs, working with their most deprived communities. In other areas it will mean community food and health projects, tackling social isolation, providing nursery and crèche facilities, and increasing access to and use of community assets.

“What ties every project together is empowering and enabling people facing disadvantage to tackle it, with a positive and longlasting impact in their communities and on their lives.”

Matt Pearce, Manager of West Calder & Harburn Community Development Trust, said:

“This funding will allow community development workers to be employed by five of the most disadvantaged communities in West Lothian.

“This new resource will allow each community to be able to make positive changes and

improvements in a way that is decided by the local communities themselves and develop the local organisations to enable this to continue and grow.

“Working together accross communities to share experiences, this will help those individuals and families most in need to have a say in the design and provision of initiatives in their own area and to support exisiting community organisations in their important work.”


The £29 million consists of the £18.9 million Aspiring Communities Fund which supports projects that will tackle poverty and inequality at a local level and the £9.7 million Growing the Social Economy Programme which will invest in third sector organisations and promote the development and testing of social innovation approaches to tackling poverty.

Examples of successful projects include:

With Kids: Calders Children’s Zone

Will establish a Children’s Zone, a neighbourhood based model which raises community aspirations and provides a birth to adulthood approach to improving attainment through lifelong learning, improved mental health and employment.

Maryhill Mobile Children’s Services

To provide and support new childcare places within Evergreen outdoor nursery, opening a fourth day per week. In addition, it will provide long-term support to the respite service, mobile crèche and Dunard after school care. 

Move On: Glasgow Holiday Hunger Network

To build relationships with partners and address holiday hunger for families across Glasgow whose children rely on free school meals through community initiatives such as food gardens.  

North Kelvin Sports Development Group: North Kelvin Academy – After School Club

To address the need of affordable child-care in the local area, North Kelvin Sports will work with partner schools to deliver a daily after-school club programme in three key delivery sites across the North-West of Glasgow.

To date, more than £13m of ACF has been committed as has £3.3m of the GSEP, with the rest being committed in future funding rounds.

Both funds are supported through European Structural Funds to enhance social inclusion and combat poverty across Scotland. The awards will not be affected by Brexit as HMT have guaranteed EU Funds to projects approved before the UK leaves the EU and SG has passed on this guarantee to all approved projects.

The Fairer Scotland Action Plan is available online.

More information on the Growing the Social Economy Programme and Aspiring Communities Fund is available online.



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