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June 13, 2018

Walk the co-production talk

When the Scottish Government launched its ten-year strategy for social enterprise, it was presented as a shared vision – co-produced with the sector itself. In the spirit of co-production, opportunities have been subsequently established for the social enterprise sector both to challenge and improve the Strategy and its Action Plan. Last month, from a different but not unrelated side of government, the continuation of the Empowering Communities Fund (£20m) was announced. Would Scottish Government be willing to create those same opportunities for the community sector to offer challenge and improvement to the Empowering Communities Fund?


Scottish Government

Empowering Communities Fund

We will continue to support various community-led regeneration programmes through our £20 million Empowering Communities Fund in 2018/2019.

Read about projects supported by the fund in 2016-2017.

The Empowering Communities Fund comprises a number of targeted funds and programmes. Click to view:

             Strengthening Communities Programme

             People and Communities Fund

             Community Choices Fund

             Aspiring Communities Fund


Strengthening Communities Programme

The Strengthening Communities Programme (SCP) focuses on strengthening community organisations to help them provide activities and services which meet their communities’ needs.

It invests in community organisations that are close to becoming sustainable, but need more support to help them achieve it. The investment allows them to work on more ambitious projects and initiatives.

People and Communities Fund

The People and Communities Fund (PCF) focuses on projects that promote social inclusion and tackle poverty, including reducing the negative impact of welfare reform.

It supports a range of ‘community anchor’ organisations, such as registered social landlords, development trusts, local health improvement groups and social enterprises – organisations that already have a record of delivering positive regeneration outcomes in their local communities.

The support provided includes:

             training and upskilling

             volunteering and employability advice

             peer-mentoring opportunities

             funding for community facilities

             intergenerational working

             healthy eating initiatives

Given the fund’s focus on community-led regeneration, the range of people benefiting from its support is diverse. It includes:


             lone parents


             people suffering from a range of health issues and disabilities

             older people

             ethnic minorities

             other vulnerable groups

             rural or fragile communities

Community Choices Fund

We support and promote PB nationally through our Community Choices Fund. The Fund is delivered in partnership with local authorities, communities and third sector organisations, and is implemented across policy areas including policing, health and social care, transport, and education.

Aspiring Communities Fund

The two-year £18.9 million Aspiring Communities Fund will help community bodies and third sector organisations in our most deprived and fragile communities develop and deliver long-term local solutions that:

             address local priorities and needs

             increase active inclusion

             build on the assets of local communities to reduce poverty and to enable inclusive growth

Other activity

The Empowering Communities Fund also supports:

             community asset ownership through the Community Ownership Support Service, a help and advice service delivered by Development Trusts Association Scotland (DTAS)

             the Coalfields Regeneration Trust (CRT), an independent regeneration organisation established in 1999 to improve the quality of life in Britain’s coalfield communities

             smaller but equally important pieces of work that support the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015