On Thursday 16 February we welcomed the Scottish Government Regeneration Team to The Albany to share information on the new £18.9m Aspiring Communities Fund. During this busy day we welcomed 200 GCVS and Glasgow & West of Scotland Forum of Housing Associations (GWSF) members & stakeholders to hear about the purpose, criteria & timescales of the fund.
About the Aspiring Communities Fund
The Aspiring Communities Fund (ACF) is targeted at the most deprived & fragile communities in Scotland, supported by the European Social Fund (ESF) it spans a number of Scottish Government policy targets including the Scottish Economic Strategy, Fairer Scotland Action Plan and Community Empowerment Act 2015.
ACF aims to get people working together in partnership & consortia, to allow smaller community-led organisations to work with larger organisations in a bid to tackle poverty & inequality across Scotland. Applications to the fund must represent new or enhanced activity, be able to demonstrate demand and put communities first. Unfortunately projects & activity currently, or previously, funded under any other ESF funding are not eligible for ACF.
Although the definition of ‘community’ includes communities of interest applications must be rooted in ‘place’ e.g. a town, village or neighbourhood and of course meet one or more of the Scottish Government & ESF targets.
Applications are welcomed from community organisations, including community anchor organisations such as housing associations and the third sector. The closing date for applications to the first round of funding is 7 April 2017, a second funding round is planned and more information on this is expected in the coming months. The Scottish Government hopes to respond to applications within 6-8 weeks of this deadline – depending on the number of applications received.
Levels of Funding
There are two awards available, Stage 1 and Stage 2:
- Stage 1 offers funding of up to £50,000 for a term of up to 6 months and will fund preparatory and scoping work that will allow partnerships and consortia to submit strong applications to stage 2.
- Stage 2 offers funding between £50,000 and £250,000 and support is available until December 2018 – projects will be asked to demonstrate sustainability.
The guidance notes and application form can be found on the Scottish Government website at: Aspiring Community Fund. The slides from today’s sessions will also be online in future, so we will post them here – in the meantime if you have any queries about the fund, simply email AspiringCommunities@gov.scot.
If you are keen to apply and are seeking potential partners & collaborators why not check out our Infobase website to find like-minded groups & organisations near you.