Climate Challenge Fund

The Climate Challenge Fund supports communities across Scotland to take action on climate change.

Keep Scotland Beautiful manages the fund on our behalf and an independent grants panel makes recommendations to Ministers on which projects should be funded.

The fund supports community-led projects which lead to realistic and measurable reduction of carbon emissions, and which are designed to leave a sustainable legacy of low-carbon behaviour. Themes include energy efficiency including:

  • building refurbishments
  • sustainable and active travel
  • reducing, reusing and recycling waste
  • food growing

In addition to reducing carbon emissions, the Climate Challenge Fund offers a range of social and health-related benefits to communities. These include:

  • increased community cohesion combatting social isolation
  • saving money and reducing fuel poverty rates
  • opportunities for employment and training
  • increased wellbeing for communities

See the list of projects awarded with funding for 2019 to 2021. Decisions on project funding for 2020 to 2022 were made in February 2020. 

Find more information on the Climate Challenge Fund website.

Climate Challenge Fund review and future plans

We carried out a review of the Climate Challenge Fund (CCF) in spring 2019 looking at how the fund can continue to best support communities in taking action to tackle climate change. 

CCF recipients, other community groups, stakeholders, and members of the public gave their views on the current CCF and the future of the fund. Views were collected via public events, meetings with stakeholders, an online public survey, and open Twitter discussions.

The review showed that the Climate Challenge Fund has played an important and valued role. However most of the people we spoke to did feel that while helping communities to address climate change was still a relevant purpose, the Climate Challenge Fund needed to be revised.

Other important findings included support for:

  • the inclusion of adaptation
  • widening the CCF to include established organisations working with communities
  • improving strategic and networking opportunities
  • encouraging shared learning

There was also support for introducing longer term funding than the CCF currently offers and for smaller funding pots.

Academic assessments of the Climate Challenge Fund were reviewed alongside literature on other similar community-based sustainability initiatives. The findings were consistent with a number of findings from the review, including support for longer term projects and improved networking opportunities. The literature review also highlighted the need for improved support around the legacy of the projects. Read the full literature review.

Community climate action hubs 


e have announced the creation of a regional network of community climate support hubs in the light of this review. This network of regional hubs will be spread across Scotland (including one specifically for our islands) and will be created in 2020.

This approach will allow us to more effectively support communities in making the transition to low carbon and climate resilient living. It will do this by providing a more strategic regional approach to climate change action.

The hubs will provide support in their local areas, helping groups to take advantage of community funding opportunities, and reducing the administrative burden on projects. 

The hubs will also facilitate better networking, ensuring a joined-up approach is being taken to tackling climate change at a regional level and ensuring more support around project legacy.

Prior Information Notice

On 24 June 2020, as a first step in developing the network of hubs, a Prior Information Notice was published on the Public Contracts Scotland website to allow organisations an opportunity to express their interest.

We would also welcome feedback on the request for information (and specifically responses to the questions) from all those involved, or with an interest, in community climate action in Scotland.  Please send all responses by email to by Friday 17th July 2020. 


For more information on our policy supporting the Climate Challenge Fund, contact