Renfrewshire Council

£1.5m Sustainable Communities Fund to launch

Local communities in Renfrewshire will have the opportunity to apply for a share of £1.5million council fund for innovative, sustainable projects that will enhance where they live.

Potential projects that could be funded include the restoration or development of buildings, grants for equipment to support community initiatives like bike repairs, tools for hire or community kitchens, or enhancements to local biodiversity through planting projects, growing grounds or community gardens.

Other potential project areas include funding to investigate community asset transfers, to purchase infrastructure or equipment for improvements to community spaces, or to recruit, train and retain volunteers.

The new fund brings together remaining funds from the council's existing Community Empowerment Fund and the Climate Change Action Fund and brings it into one easy-to-access process which aims to support local communities to regenerate local spaces and, through community collaboration, tackle inequalities including isolation, food insecurity, healthy eating, health inequalities and fuel poverty.

Constituted community groups can apply for up to £10,000, £10-25,000 or up to £100,000 for their project depending on its size and scale which will allow both small and large scale projects to be considered. Council officers will also be on hand to provide advice and support to all applicants if needed.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: "We're committed to empowering our local communities to be part of how we improve the places where we live, which has been shown through the overwhelming success of our #YouDecide campaign and the Green Spaces, Parks and Play Areas, and Villages Investment Fund - with millions invested in hundreds of projects in Renfrewshire.

"The two funds we're bringing together to create the Sustainable Communities Fund have also been fantastic in giving local communities the opportunity to use their local knowledge to transform where they live, and this new easy-to-access fund will strengthen this further once again.

"With almost £1.5million available for local people to use on projects they know are needed, this is a real chance for groups to make a difference to their neighbourhood and we'll do all we can to support them with their applications."

In addition to the £1million made available by the two council funds, the new fund has been boosted by £650,000 from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund - Communities and Place.

The final details will be considered by councillors at the council's forthcoming Leadership Board and the application process is expected to open in October 2023.

Published 15 September 2023.