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New fund opens to support island communities

New fund opens to support island communities

 

Businesses and community groups located across Scotland’s inhabited islands are now able to apply for grants of up to £150,000 through the new Island Communities Fund (ICF) for projects focussed on supporting sustainable island economies and the journey towards net zero.

The fund is backed by £2 million of Scottish Government funding, which comes from the £9.5 million committed to the Islands Programme for 2021-22.

Islands Secretary Mairi Gougeon said:

“Each of our islands are unique, so I look forward to seeing the development of innovative ICF projects that recognise the particular and distinct challenges facing individual communities. The ICF will help our islands to thrive through community-led initiatives that contribute to our ongoing population priorities. Projects will support employment, community resilience and a green economic recovery from the ongoing impacts of the pandemic.

“This fund will help to deliver projects that contribute to Scotland’s fair and just transition to net zero and to climate resilient living on our islands. We’re looking for ‘shovel-ready’ green infrastructure activities to support a strong and sustainable future for our islands.

“This fund builds on the success of and learning from the Islands Green Recovery Programme and supports the delivery of the National Islands Plan at a grassroots level.”

Grant applications will be submitted through Inspiring Scotland, who will manage the fund. Applicants will be expected to put forward ‘shovel-ready’ island-based community-led projects and detail how it will contribute to a successful and sustainable future for the islands and support employment and community resilience.

Inspiring Scotland CEO Celia Tennant said:

“We are delighted to be able to partner with the Scottish Government on the delivery of the National Islands Plan. The Island Communities Fund will support local communities and organisations to develop their local economy and support local employment in an environmentally responsible way – a vital step towards supporting wellbeing while reducing our collective impact on the planet.”

Background

The £2 million Islands Green Recovery Programme was delivered last year as part of the wider £230 million capital stimulus package. It delivered 67 projects that reached across 29 different islands in six local authority areas and provided a ‘real term’ investment of more than £2.7 million

Inspiring Scotland are once again managing this funding on behalf of the Scottish Government.

Find out more and apply here. 

Read the case studies from last year’s projects here. 

Image credit: Kelp Crofting

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