Town Centre Fund

We have provided £50m capital to set up the Town Centre Fund 2019-2020 in partnership with COSLA. Every local authority has received an allocation of the fund based on an equal weighting of the number of towns in a local authority (where a towns is a locality with a population equal to or greater than 1,000 people) and the local authority population.  

The aim of the Town Centre Fund 2019-2020 is to enable local authorities to stimulate and support place-based economic investments which encourage town centres to diversify and flourish, creating footfall through local improvements and partnerships. Specifically, this fund will contribute to transformative investments which drive local economic activities and re-purpose town centres to become more diverse, successful and sustainable.  

The grant will fund a wide range of investments which deliver against the themes of the Town Centre Action Plan. This could include repurposing buildings and improving access and infrastructure.

Local authorities will decide how the funding should be used. These investment decisions should be made in the context of national and local commitments to town centres including the Town Centre First Principle, the Town Centre Action Plan and the Place Principle. Investment decisions should be based on approaches which are collaborative and place-based with a shared purpose and make use of tools and support provided. 

The aim of the fund is to deliver against the themes of the Town Centre Action Plan. Those themes include:

  • town centre living – footfall is key to achieving thriving, successful towns centres and, the best footfall is residential for people who will use shops, services, and will care for its safety and security in the evenings
  • vibrant local economies – creating a supportive business environment including the involvement of Business Improvement Districts and other local partnerships
  • enterprising communities – social enterprise, services, arts and events and, community empowerment and community-based activities which increase the health, wealth and wellbeing of town centres
  • accessible public services – creating and accessing public facilities and services, supported by economic, service and transport hubs
  • digital towns – exploiting digital technology and promoting Wifi infrastructure to enable access to information, data analytics, marketing opportunities, branding, and communication with the wider world.
  • proactive planning – land reform and supporting the creation of sustainable, low-carbon and connected places which promote natural and cultural assets, designed in partnership with local communities and key stakeholders

The Town Centre Fund provides an opportunity to build on work by local authorities to develop and implement town centre action plans and to realise transformative ambitions arising from those plans. Scotland’s Town’s Partnership and other key organisations will continue to support local authorities and other key partners.