Investing in Communities Fund round two: final funding guidance

Investing in Communities Fund 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2026: guidance note for applicants.

Aims and objectives

The Investing in Communities Fund (ICF) is a community focussed fund supporting organisations based in the places they serve delivering activity across all four of the following areas for action, that reflect the strategic context:

Funding priorities

The funding prioritises those places where support is needed most, for our disadvantaged, rural and fragile communities across Scotland. All successful projects will deliver work that achieves the following outcomes:

Reducing poverty and inequality

Fewer people experience poverty and inequality, with a focus on:

  • ending child poverty
  • improved life chances and opportunities
  • living healthier lives

Your proposal should evidence how it will support people in a holistic person-centred way to help address multiple and complex challenges of disadvantage that people can often experience.

Developing and sustaining place based approaches

Communities are more resilient, equal and work in partnership to achieve shared ambitions for their place.  This means no-one is left behind by including and involving all sections of the community in an inclusive way and by also working collaboratively with local statutory bodies and other organisations. Doing so demonstrates an understanding of the local community, its needs and connection to other services and priorities.

Community-led regeneration

Communities are more sustainable and able to shape their own futures by strengthening the role and offering of locally controlled community (anchor) organisations, where local people are enabled to identify for themselves the challenges and priorities for their areas and to also make decisions on what solutions are needed; empowering local people and building on the skills and resources within that community.

Ensuring a just transition to net zero

Communities are more climate aware, are better equipped to support behaviour change and are able to contribute positively to taking action on climate change. Just transition is how we get to a net zero and climate resilient economy in a way that delivers fairness and tackles inequality and injustice. Net zero refers to a state in which the greenhouse gases going into the atmosphere are balanced by removal out of the atmosphere.

ICF and Place Based Investment Programme

The ICF complements the new Place Based Investment Programme which aims to link and align all place-based funding initiatives to maximise the impact of investment, supporting sustained longer term renewal, promoting the resilience, health and wellbeing of communities across Scotland.

The overarching intent is to better co-ordinate what happens in each place in order to collectively improve the circumstance of peoples’ lives - improving the rights, equalities, and wellbeing of all communities.

The Place Based Investment Programme is backed with £325 million of capital investment over 5 years including support for repurposing of land and buildings, creating new space for local enterprises, facilities and services. 

Taking a place based approach, underpinned by the Place Principle, helps to support translating these strategic priorities into delivery and action on the ground and to accelerate our ambitions for community-led regeneration, Town Centre Action, Community Wealth Building and 20 Minute Neighbourhoods.

As part of our commitment for Scotland to be a fair and equal society, the ICF asks all organisations involved in the projects to commit to the Fair Work First criteria, as proportionate to their organisation, but as a minimum, to payment of the real Living Wage and gender equal pay for all paid staff posts the fund will support. Further information can be found in The Fair Work Framework.



Back to top