Scottish Replacement For EU Structural Funds

The results of the public consultation, which was held between November 2019 and February 2020, have informed thinking and the Scottish Government has developed this plan in partnership with our expert steering group.

Section 1 Aims and Objectives of the Scottish Scheme

Our key assumptions for the programme are listed on page 6.

The main purpose of the Scottish Programme will be to address and reduce economic and social disparities within and between places and people in Scotland.

The programme will also:

  • focus on promoting place-based economic development and cohesion helping communities across Scotland to improve key economic, social and wellbeing performance indicators;
  • support local responses to economic and social challenges empowering communities across the country to respond to issues which impede their development; and
  • support the Scottish Government's policy aims set out in the Programme for Government and National Performance Framework and complement the actions published in the Scottish Government's Economic Recovery Implementation Plan, in particular those aimed at developing resilient people, communities and places.


A number of principles emerged from the discussions which are set out below:

A There was consensus or broad support for principles on the policy purpose of the funding:

delivering the Fund to achieve a measurable reduction in local disparities in key economic, social and wellbeing performance indicators, and measurable improvement in indicators of citizen empowerment.

supporting activities that are not otherwise funded, and encouraging new ideas and innovation in responding to local economic and social constraints on development. Scale, time and quality additionality were each felt to be important considerations.

complementarity with action on Covid
ensuring that the programme aligns and complements other actions to support Scotland through the economic and social challenge that the pandemic has created Including the forthcoming report from the Social Renewal Advisory Board

There was also consensus on two horizontal themes, though further work would be needed regarding their implementation:

sustainable development
actively advancing the Scottish Government's sustainable development goals.

actively advancing the Scottish Government's wellbeing goals.

B It was agreed that the governance of the funding should be based on four principles:

existing structures
use existing partnership structures to deliver the programme which would minimise costs, maximise efficiency and avoid potential duplication of effort and activity.

reducing bureaucracy and making best use of existing structures and processes.

a minimum 5-year period for predictability for investment. This is in line with the multiyear approach of the current EU funding streams and would require UK Government to recognise this requirement and align CSR cycles accordingly.

devolution and subsidiarity
decentralising decisions on the use of the Fund to the lowest appropriate level but working with national agencies and providers on national priorities to ensure that there are no asymmetries of access across the country.

C On the geography of funding the key principles are:

spatial targeting
allocating funding according to regional and local disadvantage – which will require transparent methodologies.

place-based approach to economic development and cohesion
supporting interventions that are designed to meet local development challenges and opportunities. This to be structured around sub-regions but based on the needs of communities and recognising the role of local authorities.

taking an open approach to the sub-regional geography of intervention, and enabling towns and communities across Scotland to come forward with projects to help themselves to improve their economic, social and wellbeing performance.

D The principles of community empowerment are central to our approach

community empowerment
exploiting local knowledge and involving communities and citizens directly in decisions on the design and implementation of interventions.

building local administrative capacity
to facilitate community empowerment and involvement in the Fund. this must align with the value-for-money aspects of supporting development of local administrative capacity and the principle of simplification.



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