Applications for the fund closed at 5pm on Friday 1st October. 

 Applications are currently being assessed by the Scotland Loves Local II Fund panel.

The fund received more applications than expected and is presently oversubscribed. Therefore, the expected announcement of successful applications is early November 2021.


The £10 million Scottish Government Scotland Loves Local Fund, a multi-year support scheme, aims to encourage people to think local first, supporting businesses and enterprises in their community. A total of £2 million-worth of grants will be available this financial year.

We held a launch and information webinar on Wednesday 11th August with the Minister for Public Finance, Planning and Community Wealth, Tom Arthur MSP and Scotland's Towns Partnership. You can watch the recording here. 


The Scottish Government is inviting collaborations and partnerships of Local Authorities, Community and Development Trusts, Town Teams, community/neighbourhood/Town Partnerships, Community Councils, Business Improvement Districts, and other eligible groups to develop projects to build the wealth of our local communities, revitalise our local places, town centres, or 20 minute neighbourhoods; increasing footfall and activity. This will be by encouraging communities to ‘think, choose and love local’, improving, supporting, and promoting local places, and communities.  

The fund is part of the Scottish Government’s Scotland Loves Local Programme. It is a multi-year combined capital / revenue fund with the first phase inviting applications for projects requiring funding up to March 2023. Up to £2 million of funding will be available to commence projects in 2021-22 which requires to be matched by applicants. Match funding could come for example from commercial property value, Local Authority, Sustrans, Historic Environment Scotland, Community, VisitScotland, HE/FE, private sector, etc.

The minimum project total value is £10,000 and the maximum is £50,000, this is made up of a 50% match funding minimum of £5,000, to a maximum £25,000 per locality project. We will accept applications for funding which may need to be carried forward into 2022-23 with a completion date of March 2023. A second call for applications may be made in the 2022-23 financial year. A panel consisting of representatives from Scottish Government, Local Government, Scotland’s Towns Partnership, private and third sector will assess applications to ensure transparency and compliance.  


Scotland Loves Local Fund

This fund is administered by Scotland’s Towns Partnership, the national body for towns, on behalf of the Scottish Government. 

The key aim of the fund is to build the wealth of our local communities, revitalise our local places, town centres, or 20 minute neighbourhoods, increasing footfall and activity by encouraging communities to ‘think, choose and love local’, improving, supporting and promoting local places, and communities. This can include making small scale local place-based improvements, recognising the importance and actively engaging and developing the local area. 

Examples of relevant actions may include, but are not restricted to: 

Revenue projects: 

  • Marketing and Advertising, using the Scotland Loves Local communications pack resources. This may include developing social media, print and local campaigns around a ‘Love Local, Choose Local’ message, 
  • Direct funding or expansion of the Scotland Loves Local Town and City loyalty Cards,
  • Small scale improvements and information to support the 20 Minute Neighbourhood concept,
  • Providing information for local residents/tourists on safe shopping, business, community and leisure opportunities in local places, 
  • Projects to encourage cooperatives, independents and social enterprises to develop local initiatives, collaborations and community ownership (such as Community Wealth Building approaches),
  • Revenue costs to support Place Based Investment Programme implementation, 
  • Projects that support using vacant retail spaces such as pop up and community shops in town centres, 
  • Climate Action, Active Travel and Digital programmes in town centres and neighbourhoods,
  • Culture, Heritage and Creative town centre and neighbourhood projects to drive footfall, 
  • Well-being (sport, health, activities e.g. healthy product markets, exercise programmes). 

Capital projects: 

  • Physical distancing and public health infrastructure,
  • Make minor adaptations to continue trading safely and improve the local environment e.g. canopies, outdoor furniture, lighting, 
  • Small scale green/wellbeing infrastructure projects, such as ‘pocket parks’, outdoor exercise equipment, tree and greenery planting, 
  • Refurbishment/enhancement of vacant and derelict sites, 
  • Shared home delivery digital schemes to encourage digital shopping in the local community using local providers instead of major chains, 
  • Local digital projects for advertising, provision of information, similar to work being carried out by some Business Improvement Districts and aligned with national projects like the Scotland Loves Local loyalty card. 
  • Markets (e.g. stalls and fixed equipment, installation of power), 
  • Events and performance space (e.gcreation of outdoor space, performance area, fixed seating, canopy).

Please see the below Guidance note for a broader non-exhaustive list. 



We are inviting applications from constituted groups with bank accounts and suitable governance controls, and where there is a local authority co-signatory. Local authorities are also able to apply directly to the fund.

Constituted groups may include:

  • A partnership or collaboration involving 2 or more of the below, 
  • Town Centre Partnerships and Town Teams,  
  • Chambers of Commerce, 
  • Community or Development Trusts,  
  • Charitable Community Groups,  
  • Business/Trader Associations,  
  • Business Improvement Districts (or Community, Digital or Tourism Improvement Districts), 
  • Housing Associations,  
  • Cooperatives, Social Enterprises and other Third Sector bodies,  
  • Community Interest Companies (CICs),  
  • Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisations (SCIOs)  
  • Local Authorities (a LA may wish to apply on behalf a collaboration), 
  • Destination Marketing Organisations (DMOs)  

Please contact Scotland's Towns Partnership at [email protected] if you are unsure if your organisation is eligible to apply.

The fund may prioritise projects that:

  • Include community and/or business collaboration on shared ambitions for their place, 
  • Supports the expansion and uptake of Scotland Loves Local activity, 
  • Supports delivery and implementation of the Place Based Investment Programme, 
  • Evidence solutions that contribute to Scotland’s net-zero emissions target, 
  • Evidence inclusion especially in towns or neighbourhoods in areas of higher multiple deprivation as categorised by the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) measurement.  

Grant recipients must comply with Scottish Government’s Fair Work/Living Wage Policy and include evidence that demonstrates why support is required within the community e.g. SIMD. 


Process and Timeline

The Scotland Loves Local Fund II panel will assess and make recommendations on applications to the Scottish Government Ministers for final agreement before awards are made. Please note the following dates: 

  • Monday 9th August - Applications opened.
  • Friday 1st October, 5pm – Applications closed.

 The fund received more applications than expected and is presently oversubscribed. Therefore, the expected announcement of successful applications is early November 2021.

Application and Guidance

To apply, please download and fill out the application form below, and return to: [email protected]

Please consult the guidance document before making your application to ensure you meet all criteria.

For queries or enquiries, you can contact Alison Jones at: [email protected].


Scotland Loves Local Fund II - Application Guidance Note (click to download). 

Scotland Loves Local Fund II - Assessment Criteria (click to download). 


Frequently Asked Questions 


  1. Is this funding just for towns?
    The Scotland Loves Local Fund II is not specifically a towns fund. We will fund places, villages, neighbourhoods and city districts if the application meets the Fund’s aims and criteria.
  2. Do I need the application to be countersigned by my Local Authority?
    The project must be consistent with and confirm wider links to Place Plans and we ask for the application to be countersigned by a Local Authority contact. This is mainly to avoid duplication.

  3. Do I need to have match funding in place by the time I submit my application? 
    Yes, we are asking for match funding to be in place when submitting the application to ensure the project can be delivered. 

  4. Does match funding have to be financial?
    A flexible approach to match-funding is being taken. Match funding could come for example from commercial property value, Local Authority, Sustrans, Historic Environment Scotland, Community, VisitScotland, HE/FE, private sector, in-kind etc.

  5. The Guidance mentions Property Value as match funding can you please clarify.
    Where property costs are directly linked to SLL project delivery they can be included as match (e.g. rental and running costs for an office or pop-up shop).

  6. Under Section C/Question 3 "Project Breakdown" on the application form, what if my match-funded is not a 50%/50% split under the broad headings of spend?
    More rows can be added for match funding elements (where there is not a 50/50 split on a budget item heading) as long as the total cost of the project equals 50/50. The only place where this would not be the case is if the total project value is above £50,000 and we'd expect to see other sources of funding to ensure the project can be delivered. 
  7. Is the funding available to businesses?
    The Fund is not a business support fund for enterprise. We will potentially fund businesses who are working in collaboration and agreement with other community and business groups.

  8. Will you fund feasibility studies pre-application? Can funding be used for a costing exercise to facilitate full application from other sources?
    The fund is not for feasibility and cannot be used for costs related to developing applications.

  9. How many bids can come from one single organisation? e.g. a national organisation which works locally in various different areas?
    We will consider both individual and consolidated bids.

  10. Can you apply for part funding if your total project is over £50,000?
    Yes, but we would expect evidence to be provided that other sources of funding is available to ensure the project can be delivered.

  11. What expenses are eligible?
    The eligible costs that can be claimed to deliver the project as identified in the application are, but are not limited to:
  • Staff costs
  • External technical/specialist support and project design/delivery fees
  • Purchase of external items/goods/services/materials/resources
  • Expenses incurred by volunteers and others to assist delivery
  • Project related marketing/communications and digital/web investments

The eligible costs exclude:

  • Any Value Added Tax (VAT) reclaimable by the Recipient
  • Existing Office Expenses, e.g. General office revenue and overhead running costs - rent, rates, utilities, insurances, etc
  • Costs relating to the writing of the Scotland Loves Local Funding Application 
  • Any expenditure not directly related to the applicants Project/Programme.
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