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Rural Communities Ideas into Action Fund

Supporting innovative approaches

The Rural Communities Ideas into Action Fund (RCIA) is a £1.5 million investment from the Scottish Government to encourage and support innovative approaches to community-led local development in rural communities across Scotland. Two strands of funding are available — small grants for projects up to £3,000 and large grants for projects £3,001-£50,000.

Projects funded will contribute positively to local people and local priorities, helping rural communities to thrive through community-led initiatives. The Fund outcomes are:

  • Rural communities will have the opportunity to try out different approaches to local community development;
  • Groups and organisations, not funded by Tranche 1 of the Rural Communities Testing Change Fund, will build connections with the rural Community Led Local Development sector;
  • Rural groups and organisations will work collectively to make positive changes in their communities;
  • A body of evidence, insights and learning will be collated to help inform future rural Community Led Local Development policy and programmes.


Applications must come from communities that are defined as being rural, meeting the Scottish Government’s definition of a rural community.

Applications were welcomed from not-for-profit groups for capital and revenue expenditure for projects to be delivered by the end of March 2022.

Small Grants of up to £3,000 are available for grassroots rural groups or organisations to support community projects that fit with local needs and are locally led. The process for applying for this funding has been simplified to make it easy for unincorporated groups to apply and both capital and expenditure costs are eligible.

Large Grants of between £3,001 and £50,000 are available for not for profit organisations to invest in community-led initiatives that respond to local need. Again, capital and revenue costs are eligible and these can be delivered in partnership with other local organisations.

Further information on eligibility can be found in the application guidance notes.

Fund Information and Guidance

Please note that the application deadline passed on noon 8 October 2021 and we are no longer accepting applications. For your information, all relating documentation and guidance for the funding can be found below.

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For all enquiries about the Rural Communities Ideas into Action Fund, please email

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