Fund established to replace EU cash
Scottish charities are being urged to apply for a share of a £2.5bn post-brexit fund of which £212m is up for grabs in Scotland.
The UK government’s Shared Prosperity Fund is intended to replace funding lost when the UK left the European Union.
The money will be made available to local authorities which will then lead local partnership groups working with groups including “prominent local community and faith organisations” and “voluntary, social sector enterprise and civil society organisations”, the guidance says.
Local areas in Scotland will see £212 million made available under the fund.
The funding delivers on the UK government’s commitment to match the previous EU funding from the European Social Fund and European Regional Development Fund.
However, the guidance says the fund will be much more flexible and locally led, freeing communities in Scotland from the “bureaucratic, rigid and complex processes of the EU Structural Funds.”
It says: “Bureaucracy will be slashed, and there will be far more discretion over what money is spent on. EU requirements for match funding, which impacted on poorer places, will be abolished.
“Instead of regional agencies, funding decisions will be made by elected leaders in local government, with input from local members of parliament and local businesses and voluntary groups.”
The new fund also includes over £36 million for Scotland for an adult numeracy programme, Multiply, which will support people with no or low-level maths skills get back into work.
The scheme will offer free personal tutoring, digital training, and flexible courses to improve adults’ confidence and numeracy skills.
Secretary of state for Scotland Alister Jack said: “This £212 million investment is part of a comprehensive package of UK government support to level up Scottish communities, and comes on top of a record block grant for Scotland.
“We will continue to work closely with local partners to ensure this money will go where it is most needed so people can be proud of where they live and work through delivery of new infrastructure, support for local business and by developing skills.”