More than 100 organisations have shared a £1.5 million funding boost to help revitalise cities, town centres and neighbourhoods across Scotland.

The first round of grants from the Scotland Loves Local (SLL) Fund are worth £14,000 on average and are being distributed to businesses and development organisations.

They will encourage support for local economies which were impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The Fund will include help for restoring local tourism, make town centres more environmentally friendly and sustainable, and support communities to refurbish shop fronts and public spaces ahead of the festive season.

Community Wealth Minister Tom Arthur said: “The Scottish Government is supporting our communities to deliver renewed local prosperity. I hope these grants will help spur on many of the projects which are vital to unlocking the innovation and action which will make our towns and neighbourhoods stronger.

“The Fund provides 50% match funding for local projects between £5,000 and £25,000 and targets funding towards local economies that have been impacted most due to the pandemic, including those in areas with pre‑existing inequality.

“It reinforces our determination to support all our communities as they recover and will help strengthen the vital backing being provided through the Scotland Loves Local marketing campaign and gift card scheme.

“These grants are part of Scottish Government measures to create a fairer, healthier, greener, inclusive and more sustainable economic recovery.”

Successful bids include those promoting sustainable tourism in the Small Isles in Western Scotland, tackling the impact of flooding in urban areas and outdoor events and cultural facilities in Possilpark, Glasgow. It will also include supporting an artists’ collective to take over and run empty spaces in Ayr town centre, as well as green projects in Aberdeen’s Union Plaza.

The Fund has been administered by Scotland’s Towns Partnership (STP), the organisation spearheading Scotland Loves Local with support from the Scottish Government’s.

STP Chief Officer Phil Prentice said: “The work taking place across Scotland to revitalise and reimagine our communities is quite remarkable. There’s real innovation among the projects being supported. I am sure these grants will go a long way to turning these ambitious visions into action, delivering real benefits. We look forward to seeing how they progress.” 

The £10 million Scotland Loves Local programme extends over five years and encourages people to think and choose local by supporting their businesses and communities.

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