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Crown Estate Scotland announces £750k fund to support communities’ green recovery


By Gregor White

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A new fund designed to support local regeneration and sustainable development around Scotland’s coast has been launched by Crown Estate Scotland.

The Sustainable Communities Fund, which opens for applications today is made up of two different programmes with total investment across the two programmes reaching up to £750,000 over the next three years.

"Now more than ever these communities need the opportunity – and funds – to put their plans into action." – Simon Hodge

The Community Capacity Grants Programme, open to all communities within five miles of Scotland’s coastline or one of Crown Estate Scotland’s four rural estates, will provide early stage financial support for community projects that will contribute to local regeneration and sustainable development.

Grants will range between £10,000 and £50,000, with a total of £150,000 being made available in the first year.

The Environment Grants Programme, available to Crown Estate Scotland tenants, will provide grants of between £5000 and £20,000 for projects which can deliver demonstrable environmental benefits within 18 months of award.

A total of £100,000 will be made available for this programme in the first year.

Typical projects could include initiatives to increase local biodiversity and activities to reduce flood risk, pollution or carbon emissions.

Simon Hodge, chief executive of Crown Estate Scotland, said: "We know that across Scotland communities sometimes struggle to get local projects off the ground because they cannot source support early enough.

"Now more than ever these communities need the opportunity – and funds – to put their plans into action.

"The community capacity funding is designed to help kickstart long-term change, driven by local people, while the environment programme will support projects that are ‘oven-ready’.

"Together these programmes reflect our drive to invest in and enable green recovery at a local level.

"We want to help communities get on with doing what they do best – responding to local needs in a way that provides lasting benefits."

Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, Roseanna Cunningham, said: "Communities across the country are playing a vital role in maintaining our resilience, our spirit and local support networks during the Covid-19 outbreak.

"They will also play a critical role in our recovery from the pandemic.

"The launch of Crown Estate Scotland’s Sustainable Communities Fund will provide tangible support to help deliver a green recovery in coastal communities – who are also benefitting this year from £9.7 million of Crown Estate asset revenues - as well as its rural estates."

Full details on the application process and how grants will be allocated can be found here.

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