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February 13, 2008

Fairer Scotland Fund

Several government funding streams have been combined into the Fairer Scotland Fund, aimed at tackling poverty across the country. £145m will be allocated annually to local authorities to enable Community Planning Partnerships to tackle area based and individual poverty.


In the context of the recent Spending Review, the Scottish Government announced the creation of a new fund aimed at tackling poverty and deprivation across Scotland. The Fairer Scotland Fund replaces a number of current programmes and funding streams. On an all Scotland basis the Fund totals £145m nationally per year for the next three years and will be part of the Local Government settlement. An allocation from the fund is to be made to each local authority area to enable community planning partnerships to work together to tackle area based and individual poverty; and to help more people access and sustain employment opportunities.

The Scottish Government considers the following principles crucial for investment of the Fairer Scotland Fund by community planning partnerships:-
• A clear focus on investment to address the causes of poverty, not its symptoms
• A strong emphasis placed on making early interventions for vulnerable individuals, families and disadvantaged communities
• Promotion of joint working between local partners
• Focused action on improving employability as a key means of tackling poverty
• Empowering communities and individuals to influence and inform the decisions made by community planning partnerships

The Scottish Government is very clear that not all deprived people in Scotland live in the most deprived areas. So, in recognition of the importance of individual deprivation, community planning partnerships will have increased freedom to invest in particular disadvantaged groups or individuals wherever they may live in order to tackle the root causes of poverty across the entire area. There will be no requirement to target a set proportion of their fund allocation for investment only in 15% datazone areas, as under current arrangements.

*the allocation is ringfenced for the first two years of the spending review period, in order to provide transparency and ensure that all community planning partners can play a part in driving strategic investment of these resources. However, it is envisaged that the ringfencing will be removed in 2010/11 as single outcome agreements are concluded with community planning partnerships.