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May 16, 2012

Contradictions in government scheme


Good news last week with the launch of the new £6m People and Communities Fund. This is part of the Scottish Government’s recently strengthened commitment to support community led regeneration. Worth pointing out that although this shift in emphasis towards bottom-up regeneration is a very welcome one, this is not new money – it was previously only available to housing associations for their wider role activity.  Ian Cooke at DTAS has noted some inherent contradictions with the new Fund.




Third Force News 10/05/2012

A NEW £6m fund for community-led regeneration initiatives across Scotland was launched this week.

The People and Communities Fund will invest in community organisations that provide a focus for community activities and people – so called community anchor organisations.

While community organisations welcomed the fund, some expressed concern about the definition of a community anchor organisation and the restricted remit of the fund.

Ian Cooke of Development Trusts Association Scotland (DTAS) said: “DTAS welcomes the launch of the new People and Communities Fund and particularly the recognition of the positive role which different kinds of community anchor organisations, such as development trusts, can play within community-led regeneration.

“However, to restrict the funding priorities to employability and preventative action (while both potentially key issues) seems to be unnecessarily restrictive and unconducive to the ability of communities to set their own agenda, surely a critical component of meaningful community-led regeneration.”

Pauline Barbour, policy consultant at the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) also questioned whether the fund will be able to support housing associations to deliver community regeneration.

She said: “Aspects of the fund continue to require further examination, such as the fact that the in kind work undertaken by associations will not be considered within any funding bid.

“In addition, there will be an extra duty on national housing associations to demonstrate local community involvement, and at this stage there is no commitment to the fund beyond March 2015.”