Policy actions  2 of 3

Funding to help tackle poverty and inequality

Helping communities affected by COVID-19

As part of our response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we announced an additional £350 million to help communities and local government respond to the crisis.

This includes:

  • a Food Fund to support those who would otherwise be unable to access food through the usual routes.
  • a Wellbeing Fund to support organisations providing important services to people most affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
  • a Supporting Communities Fund for community anchor organisations to help support local responses to the pandemic.
  • Third Sector Resilience Fund to support third sector organisations that deliver services and products but find themselves in financial difficulties directly as a result of the coronavirus pandemic  

To provide emergency funding to key national partners who identified an urgent need for support, we established an Immediate Priorities Fund which was drawn from both the Food Fund and Wellbeing Fund.

Our mapping tool shows how funding has been allocated across these four funds. Funding is shown by local authority area for each fund, based on total amounts awarded. Other information, including number of awards, is also set out.  An overview map brings all this funding together, also showing the additional resource provided for the Scottish Welfare Fund and other ‘hardship funding’ monies for local authorities to spend on their own COVID-19 priorities. The overview map also shows funding by local authority level on a per capita basis.

Note: These dashboards are provided for general information purposes only and use data from various sources. Due to the nature of the data, and the ongoing status of these funds, we cannot guarantee that at any particular instance it is complete, accurate or up to date.

We recognise that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to tackling poverty and increasing social inclusion in our society.

So we have created a range of funding streams to help agencies and local communities tackle inequalities.

Empowering Communities Fund

The £20 million Empowering Communities Fund, established in 2015, enables communities to tackle poverty and inequality and take forward regeneration in their areas on their own terms. This helps communities find solutions that work for them and to deliver long-term improvements.

The Children, Young People and Families Early Intervention and Adult Learning and Empowering Communities Fund

This £15 million Children, Young People and Families Early Intervention and Adult Learning and Empowering Communities Fund has been awarded to third sector organisations that tackle inequalities and poverty, support parents and carers, improve learning and build skills.

It replaced the Third Sector Early Intervention Fund and Strategic Funding Partnerships and is designed to help children, families and communities across Scotland.

In September 2016 we commissioned research to help assess whether the overall vision for the fund is being achieved, and to help us make future decisions around this area of funding.


In September 2017 we published the first annual report of the Children, Young People and Families Early Intervention and Adult Learning and Empowering Communities (CYPFEI and ALEC) fund.

The annual report is included below, along with two case studies showing some of the programmes delivered by Peeple, one of the funded third sector organisations. .

Fund extension

Due to the unprecedented challenges currently being faced by the Third Sector as a result of the  COVID-19 pandemic, Scottish Ministers have taken the decision to extend the CYPFEI & ALEC fund to 31 March 2021.

This extension is not a guarantee of any future funding and the CYPFEI & ALEC fund will end on 31 March 2021.  Ministers have made this decision in response to feedback about the anticipated impact of further disruption to the sector at this challenging time and to ensure that organisations are able to plan ahead for the remainder of this financial year as they reshape their ways of working to respond to the impact of COVID-19.

The Families and Communities (FAC) Fund

Registered Scottish charities which deliver early intervention and prevention services of national significance to children, young people and their families in Scotland were invited to apply to the Families and Communities Fund which was intended to launch in April 2020 replacing the Children, Young People, Families Early Intervention & Adult Learning and Empowering Communities (CYPFEI & ALEC) Fund. However, due to the unprecedented challenges being faced by the third sector as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, on 14 April Ministers took the decision to extend the CYPFEI & ALEC fund until end March 2021. 

In light of the uncertainties associated with the continuing pandemic and the need for stability, Scottish Ministers have decided not to run the Family and Communities Fund in the financial year 2021/2022. Arrangements for funding from April 2022 will be outlined in due course. 

Ministers appreciate that many organisations devoted time and energy submitting applications for the Families and Communities Fund and recognise they will be disappointed by this decision. 

It is, however, the considered view, that this is not the time for additional disruption.  

Ministers wish to thank all those organisations which applied to the Families and Communities Fund.