Over £2.6m of support for low-income families and businesses in West Lothian
West Lothian Council has approved proposals to allocate its share of the Covid-19 Economic Recovery and Low-Income Fund awarded to local authorities.
The fund will be split, with £1.315 million given to seven projects targeting West Lothian households who need additional support and £1.3 million invested in programmes to support local businesses.
Projects to help West Lothian households under increased financial pressure include: £637,000 for an additional £80 winter clothing payment for families who receive a School Clothing Grant; £392,000 providing targeted assistance to those groups most likely to experience hardship in the winter months; and £135,000 of one-off funding for specific households who need help but do not qualify for any other type of support.
Other projects include:
- £50,000 for supporting young students to remain in education in partnership with West Lothian College;
- £44,000 for an additional £20 fuel support payment to those who receive a crisis grant;
- £42,000 to support people with disabilities who are being disproportionately impacted by the increased cost of energy;
- and £14,000 to support low-income Job Seekers with a £30 payment towards digital connectivity.
Support for businesses includes: £400,000 Business Recovery fund to help viable local firms with business growth, adaptation and resilience; £250,000 for Digital Development Grants for projects to improve cyber security, enhance their online presence or develop an app; and £200,000 Graduate Placement Fund to support West Lothian businesses that will employ a graduate in areas such as cyber security, science or the environment.
Other schemes funded are:
- £100,000 for a Low Carbon /Energy Efficiency Grant scheme to assist businesses with overcoming barriers to becoming net zero;
- £100,000 to support local businesses to operate safely, as staff and customers return in larger numbers;
- £80,000 more for the existing Flexible Workforce Development Fund, which sees West Lothian College provide training to small and medium enterprises;
- £75,000 Open University funding to enable local businesses to train existing staff members with their career progression;
- £60,000 High Growth Start Up Grants for businesses within the first 18 months of trading;
- and £35,000 for Introduction to Business grants to assist individuals to start up their own business.
Details of how to apply for any of the schemes which require application forms will be posted online and publicised shortly.