Key achievements over last five years
The Scottish Government's Regeneration Strategy recognises that a sustained and coordinated place based approach across the public sector and its partners, working with people and communities, is needed to address the deeply ingrained economic, environmental and social issues faced by some of Scotland's most disadvantaged, fragile and remote communities.
Community-led regeneration delivers inclusive growth by supporting interventions which respond to local circumstances and increases opportunities to attract investment and jobs in those communities, while building community and regional cohesion. Improved economic, social and environmental outcomes are achieved through community-led solutions, which deliver projects and services specific to community aspirations and needs, through collaborative partnerships invested in those areas and outcomes.
Regeneration across Scotland's cities, towns, villages, communities and remote areas is underpinned through a combination of funding and investment; and, creating the conditions to support community empowerment, place based approaches and inclusive growth.
The Place Principle, which was adopted, by Cabinet and COSLA (Convention of Scottish Local Authorities) in March 2019 will be supported though the establishment of a Place Based Investment Programme to support sustained longer-term place based regeneration. The Programme aims to link and align all place based funding initiatives and progress our ambitions for community-led regeneration, town centres and 20-minute neighbourhoods aspirations right across Scotland.
The Scottish Partnership for Regeneration in Urban Centres (SPRUCE) fund provides investment in the form of loans for commercial and industrial property and sustainable energy projects that support regeneration and inclusive growth. Those loans are now being repaid with the receipts being recycled and used to deliver further regeneration projects.
The Regeneration Capital Grant Fund (RCGF) delivered in partnership with COSLA, supports locally developed, place-based regeneration projects that involve local communities and helps tackle inequality and support inclusive growth in disadvantaged and fragile rural areas.
The Vacant and Derelict Land Fund aims to tackle long-term vacant and derelict land bringing it back into productive use in order to stimulate economic growth and job creation, with a focus on temporary and permanent greening, whilst supporting communities to flourish and tackle inequalities.
The Town Centre Fund for 2019-20 enables local authorities to investment in projects, which re-purpose and diversify town centre use and promote inclusive growth through place-based approaches.
This builds on previous investment against the themes of the Town Centre Action Plan through the Town Centre Housing Fund, Town Centre Communities Capital Fund, Town Centre Empty Homes Fund and the Town Centre Action plan demonstration phase.
The Empowering Communities Programme comprising a suite of strategic partnerships and funds that together support disadvantaged communities to tackle poverty and inequality on their own terms, and to support community empowerment more broadly. The fund reflects our commitment to investing in communities so that they can develop the resources and resilience to decide their own priorities, needs and aspirations; and, to develop their own social, economic and environmental solutions in response.
Funding is used to support hundreds of community organisations through two key community funds the new Investing in Communities Fund and Aspiring Communities Fund and funding to key programmes such as the Community Ownership Support Service.
We launched the Investing in Communities Fund in 2019-20, bringing together five former community funds to provide a simpler, more flexible process for communities. Importantly the fund offers multi-year funding grants to support communities in longer term planning to address deep ingrained issues of poverty and inequality, and develop more sustainable solutions.
Progress up to 2020-21 and activity going forward
SPRUCE is now recycling loans, which have been repaid into further regeneration projects. In addition to the initial £50 million of capital, further contributions of £45 million in Financial Transactions, including £25 million provided by the Building Scotland Fund, have been provided by the Scottish Government to support investments taking the total contributions to £95 million. A total of 17 projects have now received investment of over £123 million, supporting estimated development costs of over £309 million and creating more than 6,000 jobs.
The Scottish Government continues to support Clyde Gateway URC (Urban Regeneration Company) with more than £166 million of support provided up until March 2021.
Since the first year of RCGF (2014-15), a total of 198 projects across Scotland have received an offer of grant, including for 2021-22, at a total of over £200 million. RCGF projects to date are anticipated to support or create more than 10,000 jobs, refurbish and bring back into use 240 buildings, create more than 200,000 sqm of business space, support a combined total of over 530 community facilities and services and benefit more than 3300 businesses or enterprises.
Over £121 million was provided from the Vacant and Derelict Land Fund to tackle long-term vacant and derelict land in five local authority areas.
The Town Centre Fund has enabled local authorities to support 709 projects in town centres across Scotland with funding of £68 million across 2019-20 and 2020-21, which includes £18 million for 2020-21 as part of the wider overall £230 million Return to Work economic stimulus package.
The relationships and strong foundations built over the course of the past five years of delivering the Empowering Communities Programme have been key to delivering additional investment as part of the £350 million Communities Support Package in the response to COVID-19. This additional investment together with the continued investment from the programme, including the flexibility offered to organisations through Investing in Communities Fund, have enabled and supported the rapid and agile responses delivered within our communities. The continued support from this programme will provide much needed stability as we emerge and move toward recovery.
The Place Based Investment Programme to support sustained longer-term place based regeneration, is backed by £325 million capital investment over 5 years from 2021-22 which includes maintaining the Regeneration Capital Grant Fund (RCGF) and ongoing support for Clyde Gateway.