Empowering Communities Programme

We continue to support various community-led regeneration programmes through the Empowering Communities Programme, which includes the following two targeted funds:

Investing in Communities Fund (ICF)

The Investing in Communities Fund is not currently accepting applications.  Details of future funding rounds will be released when they are available.

The Investing in Communities Fund (ICF) is a multiyear communities fund that is delivered as part of the Empowering Communities Programme. The fund targets our most disadvantaged communities to deliver projects, services and activities that address poverty and disadvantage on their own terms.  The fund also helps to meet our targets as set out in the Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan 2022-26 and to underpin the Place Principle by encouraging more joined up collaborative approaches to services and assets to achieve better outcomes for people and communities.

Investing in Communities Fund Round 2: 2023 to 2026

The second round of the fund invited applications addressing four areas of action:

  • tackling poverty and inequality, including child poverty

  • developing and sustaining place based approaches

  • community-led regeneration

  • ensuring a just transition to net zero

One hundred and five community projects have been recommended for ICF round 2 support over the next three years, receiving a total of £27 million funding.

The recommendations were made by the Independent Assessment Panel at its meeting on 24 January 2023.

View a list of the approved projects.

Round 1 funded projects

The first round of the fund provided grant awards from 2019/20 to 2021/22, with a year’s extension funding made available in 2022/23. Read the list of supported projects following the round 1 Independent Assessment Panel meeting on 7 October 2019.

Aspiring Communities Fund

The £24.8 million Aspiring Communities Fund will help community bodies and third sector organisations in our most deprived and fragile communities develop and deliver long-term local solutions that:

  • address local priorities and needs
  • increase active inclusion
  • build on the assets of local communities to reduce poverty and to enable inclusive growth 

View a list of projects approved for the Aspiring Communities Fund, updated in February 2019.

The Aspiring Communities Fund is not currently accepting applications. Details of future funding rounds will be released when they are available.

Previous Funding 2018 to 2019

The new streamlined Investing in Communities Fund replaces the following previous community funds:

  • the People and Communities Fund (PCF)
  • the Community Choices Fund (CCF)
  • the Making Places Initiative (MPI)
  • the Fair Food Transformation Fund (FFTF)

Since its launch in 2012, PCF has invested more than £41 million in hundreds of community-led projects that tackle inequality across Scotland.

In 2016 we began support for Participatory Budgeting through our Community Choices Fund.

See a list of Community Choices Fund awards recipients for the following years:

See a list of Making Places Initiative award recipients.

See a list of Fair Food Transformation Fund award recipients.

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