£29 million to tackle poverty in Scotland

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced a funding pot of £29 million to help community and third sector projects tackle poverty.

The Scottish Government will direct £18.9 million into a new Aspiring Communities Fund to help organisations find new, long lasting community led solutions to poverty, by increasing economic activity or enhancing services to meet local needs.

The programme will enable third sector organisations to support people to move into better paid employment, increase household income, improve people's skills and empower people to find solutions to poverty themselves. It will also support social innovation through collaboration between the third sector and research organisations - bringing people together from different backgrounds to design and test innovative approaches to social problems.

The funding supports the Fairer Scotland Action Plan, initially published last October.

Sturgeon said: “We are doing everything possible to create a more equal Scotland, and our Fairer Scotland Action Plan features 50 concrete actions to tackle poverty and inequality. This funding of £29 million will support communities and the third sector in developing new ways to help people overcome disadvantage.

“Over the next two years, the investment in these two Funds will deliver positive and innovative approaches to improve people’s lives through boosting skills or delivering new services to meet community needs - and crucially, giving people the power to take charge and make changes in their own communities.

“Almost half of this funding comes from the European Social Fund which promotes inclusive growth and supports those who are disadvantaged - and the best way to continue that support beyond 2020 is by maintaining Scotland's relationship with Europe.”