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Back new 'choose local' fund, says Moray councillor

By Alan Beresford

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A MORAY councillor is has backed the latest ‘choose local’ drive as £10 million fund is launched to transform towns and neighbourhoods to boost the fightback from the Covid pandemic.

Local projects and businesses could benefit from the new Scotland Loves Local Fund.
Local projects and businesses could benefit from the new Scotland Loves Local Fund.

Projects aiming to help transform towns and neighbourhoods are being invited to apply to the Scotland Loves Local Fund. It aims to encourage people to think local first, and support businesses and enterprises in their community. The fund will provide match funding of between £5000 and £25,000 for projects run by groups like town centre partnerships, chambers of commerce or community and charity trusts.

Buckie councillor Sonya Warren is keen that local projects and businesses do not miss out on the chance to bring a much-needed boost to Buckie.

She said: "This is an excellent scheme which could provide some much-needed cash to local projects and businesses.

"After almost a year and a half of Covid restrictions we need to look at ways in which communities and businesses can maximise their recovery.

"The fund aims to bring new, suitable, creative projects and activity to towns and neighbourhoods – helping build local wealth and increase footfall and activity, while supporting local enterprise partnerships. Eligible projects could include things like community shops, marketing and digital schemes, or enabling larger construction projects delivery."

The fund is being managed by Scotland's Towns Partnership.

Community Wealth Minister Tom Arthur commented: “Whether it be funding for small-scale improvements or adaptations, climate or active travel programmes, home delivery digital schemes, pop up shops and markets, or the direct funding or expansion of Scotland Loves Local loyalty card schemes – communities will be able to decide how best to improve their local area.

“This 100 day Scottish Government commitment reinforces our determination to support all our communities as they recover from the pandemic and will help strengthen the vital support being provided through the Scotland Loves Local marketing campaign and loyalty card scheme.”

Scotland’s Towns Partnership Chief Officer Phil Prentice added: “Over the coming years, this significant commitment from the Scottish Government will make a real difference, empowering communities to take action that will make their areas fairer, greener and more successful.

"We are delighted to be working with ministers to deliver this.

“This funding will unlock the great potential of our towns and neighbourhoods, allowing them not just to recover from the impact of Covid-19, but to create a stronger, more sustainable future which has localism at its heart. I would encourage interested organisations across Scotland to get their applications in.”

Applications for funding will close at 5pm on Friday, October 1.

Around 100 projects are likely to receive funding this year, with a further call for applications next year. Funding for projects in areas with a higher level of deprivation may be prioritised.

For more information, and to apply, visit www.lovelocal.scot

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