The Scottish Government’s Communities Secretary, Aileen Campbell, has announced today (12th June) £2 million of new funding to help support the recovery of local communities as coronavirus (COVID-19) measures are gradually and carefully eased. The funding will be administered by Scotland’s Towns Partnership, the national body for towns.
In particular, to help town centres and high streets prepare and adapt for the lifting of lockdown, the funding will help finance emergency recovery projects such as:
- Digital markets and virtual high streets
- Online local jobs and volunteering platforms
- ‘Open for business’ guides and maps
- Physical distancing street markers, one-way systems etc.
The Towns and Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) Resilience and Recovery Fund will be deployed through the following streams:
- £1 million will be allocated directly to towns, and will be open to local authorities as well as community and development trusts, chambers of commerce, and town centre partnerships to address immediate concerns. Eligible organisations will be able to apply for the fund from Monday 15 June. Application and guidance documents, with full information about the fund’s eligibility and processes, will be made available from 15 June via the Scotland’s Towns Partnership website – scotlandstowns.org.
- £700,000 will be allocated to Business Improvement Districts. This recovery funding is in addition to the £1 million BIDs Resilience Fund announced in March. BIDs will be able to access the new funding from September 2020 when the current BID Resilience Fund expires. Information about this fund will be communicated directly to BIDs and via the Scotland’s Improvement Districts website – https://improvementdistricts.scot/.
- The remaining funding will be used for data analysis, communications and the development of a national media campaign to support town recovery.
While fuller information about these funding streams will be made available from Monday 15th June, early enquiries can be directed to Scotland’s Towns Partnership via: https://www.scotlandstowns.org/get-involved#contact-us
In announcing this funding, Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell said:
“The coronavirus crisis is having an unprecedented impact on every high street and town centre as we take measures to supress and control the spread of the virus.
“As we carefully ease out of lockdown it is vital that we support our local communities to safely reopen our high streets and recover from the social and economic impacts of the pandemic. The steps we take to rebuild our economy and restore our town centres must be flexible and adaptable to allow them to respond quickly to any future changes.
“This funding will support the implementation of new measures for town centres, addressing immediate concerns and assisting in the recovery and renewal of local communities. This is also an opportunity to consider the future of our towns. We want to support them to be greener, healthier places where business and social activity thrive and their recovery is an important part of our ambitions on social renewal, as we work towards reducing poverty and disadvantage.”