Investing in Communities Fund round two: final funding guidance

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

Application process

The application process is supported by an Independent Panel. We will initially review and assess all eligible applications. Local Authority community teams and Third Sector Interfaces may contribute local knowledge on alignment with wider plans which will also be considered by the Independent Panel. We may also share this information with Scottish Government colleagues and other agencies including other grant making bodies.

The Independent Panel will agree recommendations on which project proposals should receive an offer of grant, which will be informed to Scottish Ministers. As this ensures a fair and transparent process, the Independent Panel will not revisit any of its recommendations after they have been made.

For potential projects to be successful your application should identify how your organisation will address all four areas for action and the fund’s outcomes.

Applications are invited that:

  • demonstrate the ways in which your proposal will tackle poverty and inequality by addressing issues of local socio-economic or rural disadvantage using holistic person-centered approaches in the place in which your community is based
  • have been identified and developed with the involvement and support of people living in the community, also reflecting the diversity of the community, and working in partnership with other community/third sector organisations as well as the public sector as appropriate
  • align with local priorities supporting recovery through community-led local developments that enhance community resilience and sustainability by, for example creating jobs, helping sustain employment and contributing to the local economy
  • contribute appropriately and proportionately to a fair and just transition to net zero

If your project proposal is designed to support communities in more than one local authority area we recommend that you complete separate applications for each of the relevant communities within each local authority area. This will help ensure that you have the opportunity to fully describe how the project will be delivered in each area.  

All applications will be separately assessed with reference to the assessment process and assessment criteria.

Successful applications will be expected to commence activity on or as soon as possible after 1 April 2023, and no later than 30 September 2023.

Supported projects will be required to demonstrate good progress with the project during the funding period to claim their eligible ICF grant. You should therefore consider the activities and outcomes that will enable you to best monitor, track, report on and evidence your project’s progress. This includes the activities your organisation will commit to and progress in relation to the Fair Work Framework criteria. 

All supported projects must be delivered in line with any current or emerging Scottish Government Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidelines and, where appropriate, have delivery models that can adjust to changing circumstances.



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