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£1m up for grabs to empower Highland communities

By Val Sweeney

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Groups are being invited to apply for funding to empower their communities.
Groups are being invited to apply for funding to empower their communities.

Groups and organisations in the Highlands are being invited to apply for funding to improve and regenerate their communities.

Highland Council is inviting applications to the Communities and Place strand of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF).

£1 million of funding is available for capital and revenue projects, that will empower communities to build on their own strengths, support local needs, and deliver on the fund’s main objective of ‘building pride in place and increasing life chances’.

Councillor Ken Gowans, chairman of Highland Council’s economy and infrastructure committee said: "It has been confirmed three consecutive years of UK Shared Prosperity Funding will be available to local authorities, with an indicative allocation of over £9 million for Highland.

"This is a considerable investment for our communities, and a chance to build a fairer and more resilient Highland region.

"The Communities and Place strand is one of the three priorities this allocation will be delivered by the Highland Council, and we encourage eligible organisations to apply by the deadline date of 5pm 22 January 2024."

It will consider projects which will deliver place-based investments, regeneration and town centre improvements

community assets and infrastructure improvements and digital infrastructure for local community facilities.

The application process has been simplified with an application form to be completed along with the submission of supporting documentation.

On-line funding engagement sessions have been arranged on January 11 at 10am and 7pm for applicants who wish to discuss their proposal in advance of submitting an application form.

The link to join the session can be found on the Community Regeneration Funding website.

If you are applying under the ‘Place based investments, regeneration and town centre improvements’ or ‘Community assets and infrastructure improvements’ intervention, a minimum grant of £25k and up to a maximum of £100k is available.

If you are applying under the ‘Digital infrastructure for local community facilities’ intervention, a minimum grant of £5k and up to a maximum of £25k capital funding is available.

All applicants must be able to demonstrate they have secured match funding of at least 25% of project costs. Final funding decisions will be made in time for projects to start by 1 April 2024, however projects must have all the necessary statutory requirements and match funding confirmation by 12 February 2024. All projects must be concluded and fully claimed by 31 March 2025.

Visit community regeneration for further information on how to apply, download the application form, and access the link to join the on-line engagement sessions.

Alternatively, contact the Community Regeneration Funding Team at communityregenerationteam@highland.gov.uk.

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