Vacant and Derelict Land Investment Programme (VDLIP): application form

Guidance and application form for applicants at stage 1.


This page is intended to help applicants prepare and submit their stage 1 applications to the £50 million low carbon Vacant and Derelict Land Investment Programme (VDLIP) which is being delivered from 2021-22 over an initial five years. 

Applications have now closed for 2023 to 2024, the third round of funding.  Applications will open for the fourth round of funding, for 2024 to 2025, in 2023.     

This guide provides further information on:

  • the background and strategic context of the VDLIP
  • the application process
  • eligible organisations
  • eligible project types/sites
  • example projects and case studies 

The programme was first launched in 2021/22 and this guidance may be subject to further development and refinement in future years.

About the VDLIP

Scotland has almost 11,000 hectares of vacant and derelict urban land sites which can blight communities, harm wellbeing, and limit opportunities. However those sites could offer so much more - they could help solve some of society’s biggest challenges, including around climate change and inequality.

By prioritising the reuse of persistent vacant and derelict land, and protecting our existing natural capital, we can ensure that future investment goes into areas where it is needed the most, supporting shared ambitions for place, community regeneration, town centres, and 20 minute neighbourhoods.

The £50 million VDLIP is a capital programme scheduled over the next five years to help with tackling persistent vacant and derelict land and supporting place based approaches to delivering regeneration and sustainable inclusive growth, as part of a ‘just transition’ to net-zero by 2045. It is being established in the context of our economic recovery being a green recovery – where we are tackling climate change and providing opportunities for new work and growth in today’s challenging global market.

The VDLIP complements the Place Based Investment Programme. It aims to link and align all place based funding initiatives to ensure we have a coherent approach to sustained longer term renewal, promoting the resilience, health and wellbeing of communities across Scotland. 

The overarching intent is to better orchestrate what happens in each place in order to collectively improve the circumstance of peoples’ lives - improving the rights, equalities, and wellbeing of all communities. Translating what has already been achieved in some locations into a new normal, which includes innovative approaches that prioritise putting vacant and derelict land to appropriate new uses, and enhancing the quality of places. 

The VDLIP is being established in the above context and with four pillars of action: 

  • sustained place-based approaches
  • urban green spaces
  • community-led regeneration
  • low carbon developments and renewables

The budget for the VDLIP in financial year 2023-24 is £10 million, then it is planned to increase in subsequent years in line with anticipated growing demand for funding. The following schedule is indicative:

FY 2021-22 2022-23 2023-24 2024-25 2025-26
£5 million £5 million £10 million £15 million £15 million

The budget forward plan allows for multiyear project delivery, where appropriate and justified in project proposals, recognising that some sites are more complex than others to be tackle and takes more time.  

Strategic context

It is imperative that our economic recovery is a green, inclusive recovery – not just because it is the right thing to do in the face of the climate crisis and the pandemic, but also because it provides opportunities for new work and sustainable growth in today’s challenging global market. 

In the Programme for Government we have set out plans for new investment that increases the momentum for Scotland’s transition to net zero. We are doing this because the opportunity is now greater than ever for Scotland to be at the forefront of global action. Governments around the world are reinforcing their commitment to building back better’, inclusive growth and net zero. Financial markets and investors are working towards greening their investment and making sure they provide social benefit. 

The VDLIP is part of the confirmed investments from the £2 billion Low Carbon Fund which underpins our commitment to achieve net-zero, strengthen supply chains, attract inward investment, encourage businesses to innovate and diversify, and promote new opportunities for people to retrain and upskill in new and high growth areas – while protecting and enhancing the environment that we all rely on, strengthening and building better communities.

Projects supported from the VDLIP will reflect these following strategic areas of priority and core principles (and will deliver across the National Outcomes): 



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