The Scottish Government has announced that communities will be able to tackle poverty and inequalities and take forward regeneration in their areas on their own terms through a £20m investment.
Funding for the Empowering Communities Fund will be protected in Scotland’s Draft Budget for 2016- 2017.
To date, hundreds of projects which are making change happen in disadvantaged communities through training, employment, healthy eating and volunteering opportunities have received a boost through the Fund which was established earlier this year.
Mr Neil recently visited Bield Housing and Care’s Oakburn Park Day Centre project in Milngavie, which benefitted from funding through the Empowering Communities Fund this year.
The project received £75,000 to develop the Community Dementia Services project which promotes social inclusion, health and well-being through the provision of IT training programmes, movement and art classes, the creation of a sensory garden and evening dining services for the people they support and their carers.
Mr Neil said:
“Investing in community-led regeneration is a priority for this Government as we recognise communities are the ones best placed to address inequalities and identify how their areas can be improved.
“From food growing and healthy eating projects, to owning buildings and training and employment schemes, hundreds of communities have already benefitted from positive change through the Empowering Communities Fund.
“This £20m investment reinforces our commitment to giving communities a stronger voice in the decisions that matter to them. It will also help us work with community groups and give them the tools to deliver long-term solutions that tackle poverty.
“This investment supports the aims of the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act which will be implemented over the next year. It will give people more powers to take over land and buildings and is a momentous step in our drive to increase participation in local decision making.”