Empowering Communities Fund

We will continue to support various community-led regeneration programmes through our £20 million Empowering Communities Fund in 2018/2019.

Read about projects supported by the fund in 2018 to 2019.

The Empowering Communities Fund comprises a number of targeted funds and programmes. Click to view:

Strengthening Communities Programme

The Strengthening Communities Programme (SCP) focuses on strengthening community organisations to help them provide activities and services which meet their communities' needs.

It invests in community organisations that are close to becoming sustainable, but need more support to help them achieve it. The investment allows them to work on more ambitious projects and initiatives.

For more information about how your organisation might be able to benefit from the programme, contact Highlands and Islands Enterprise or Community Enterprise in Scotland.

People and Communities Fund

The People and Communities Fund (PCF) focuses on projects that promote social inclusion and tackle poverty, including reducing the negative impact of welfare reform.

It supports a range of 'community anchor' organisations, such as registered social landlords, development trusts, local health improvement groups and social enterprises – organisations that already have a record of delivering positive regeneration outcomes in their local communities.

The support provided includes:

  • training and upskilling
  • volunteering and employability advice
  • peer-mentoring opportunities
  • funding for community facilities
  • intergenerational working
  • healthy eating initiatives

Given the fund's focus on community-led regeneration, the range of people benefiting from its support is diverse. It includes:

  • families
  • lone parents
  • children
  • people suffering from a range of health issues and disabilities
  • older people
  • ethnic minorities
  • other vulnerable groups
  • rural or fragile communities

PCF funding for the period 2016 to 2017 is £10.75 million. Since its launch in 2012, it has invested more than £41 million in hundreds of community-led projects that tackle inequality across Scotland.

See a list of projects funded by the PCF.

In 2018/19, the People and Communities Fund will continue to support existing community-led initiatives to enable increased momentum and sustainability within the current portfolio of projects. The fund is therefore currently not accepting applications for new proposals.

Community Choices Fund

Read about the Community Choices Fund on the participatory budgeting page.

Community Choices Fund 2018 to 2019

See the list of awarded projects and organisations in 2018-2019.

Community Choices Fund 2017 to 2018

See the list of awarded projects and organisations in 2017-2018

Community Choices Fund 2016 to 2017

A total of 137 applications for funding were received in 2016 to 2017, to the sum of £7,097,287. Of those, 23 were from public authorities totalling £1,322,385 and 114 from community organisations totalling £5,774,902. Find information on successful Community Choices Fund applicants from 2016 to 2017 in our archive.

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

Other activity

The Empowering Communities Fund also supports:

  • community asset ownership through the Community Ownership Support Service, a help and advice service delivered by Development Trusts Association Scotland (DTAS)
  • the Coalfields Regeneration Trust (CRT), an independent regeneration organisation established in 1999 to improve the quality of life in Britain's coalfield communities
  • smaller but equally important pieces of work that support the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015