The Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government, Aileen Campbell MSP, has announced an additional £350 million for those most affected by the COVID-19 situation.
The funding will be made available to councils, third sector groups and charities, businesses and community groups, and is designed to be flexible, enabling them to respond swiftly and according to local need for people impacted economically or through reduced contact with society, including anyone struggling to access food.
The emergency funding package will be allocated to existing funding streams through several new funds, with a £95 million package directly available to local authorities, made up of:
- £50 million in Barnett consequentials from the UK Government’s hardship fund, which is being passed direct to local authorities to support their own local resilience, support and hardship plans
- £45 million added to the existing Scottish Welfare Fund, which makes Community Grants and Crisis Grants available to those in immediate need; this more than doubles the current £35.5 million fund, which is administered by local authorities, who will be given more flexibility in how it is used to ensure they can fully support people in financial crisis, including workers in the “gig economy”
- a £70 million Food Fund will help organisations in the public, private and third sectors address issues of food insecurity, especially for older people, and families who may not be able to rely on free school meals
- a £50 million Wellbeing Fund will help charities and others who require additional capacity to work with at-risk people who may be worst affected by the crisis, including homeless people and those experiencing fuel poverty
- a £40 million Supporting Communities Fund will be used to support the rapidly growing and inspiring community efforts at a local level which will be vital to national resilience, including supporting people at risk because of age, isolation, carers, homeless people and asylum seekers and signposting people to sources of help such as applying for benefits
- £50 million will go to meet an anticipated increase in applications for the existing Council Tax Reduction Scheme and Scottish social security benefits
- £20 million will be allocated to a Third Sector Resilience Fund, to help ensure the health and continued viability of the third sector organisations affected by cash flow and other problems, which have a key role to play in our national response
- £25 million will be kept in reserve to allow swift and flexible responses to rapidly changing circumstances
Information on how to access this funding will be available shortly.
For further information, please visit the Scottish Government website.