Scotland’s towns urged to apply for COVID recovery funding

Local towns can apply for funding to help with COVID recovery following Scottish Government announcement

A leading expert on town centres policy has urged towns across Scotland to apply for new funding made available by the Scottish Government to support the recovery of local high streets post-COVID. 

Phil Prentice, the Chief Officer of Scotland’s Towns Partnership and Programme Director of Scotland’s Improvement Districts, issued the plea following an announcement of a £2 million fund by Communities Secretary, Aileen Campbell, last week.

The £2 million Towns and Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) Resilience and Recovery Fund is in addition to the £1 million BIDs Resilience Fund announced in March, and is intended to support localised response activities contributing to town centre and high street resilience and recovery. £1 million of this fund is now available for local authorities and towns organisations to apply for, while £700,000 will provide support to business improvement districts when current BIDs Resilience funding expires. The remainder of the fund will support data analysis and communications to support town centre recovery, including running a national “think local” campaign. 

Under the funding available now, both Local Authorities and constituted groups such as Development Trusts, Chambers of Commerce and Housing Associations can be funded to resource agreed projects. Constituted groups must agree their proposals with their Local Authority prior to applying.

A wide range of projects are eligible for funding, such as physical distancing and personal protective infrastructure, ‘open for business’ guides and maps, and e-commerce platforms to support local traders. Full details about how to apply for funding can be found on the Scotland’s Towns Partnership website.