Sir Robert Smith, MP for West Aberdeenshire & Kincardine, has welcomed the fact that organisations across Scotland will be able to apply for funding from the new Coastal Communities Fund from April. The fund will help local businesses, voluntary organisations and charities to develop projects that will support the local economy in coastal areas.
Sir Robert said: “This is very good news for our coastal communities and I would encourage local organisations, charities, social enterprises and businesses which support the economic development of these communities to apply for this fund.”
Scotland will receive a total of £3.9m from the fund this year from the overall £23.7m available throughout the UK. The Highlands is to receive £1.9m from the fund, with an additional £2.1m for the rest of Scotland. The Coastal Communities Fund will be continued on an annual basis and there is expected to be at least as much money available for the fund next year.
The Fund will be financed by the UK Government and will be equal to 50% of the revenues generated by the Crown Estate’s marine activities and will be UK wide. The UK Government made the decision that funding for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland will be determined by the amount of revenue generated by marine activities in each country. This means that Scotland will get a far greater share of the fund than it would have done if the funding was determined by population.
The UK Government is working with the Big Fund, part of the Big Lottery Fund, to find the best ways to deliver benefits for Scotland’s communities. Scottish organisations will be able to express interest from March and make formal bids on the £4m fund in April.