Wellbeing Fund and Scottish Crown Estate fund open for bids

Third sector organisations across Scotland are being encouraged to apply for emergency funding to help cope with the effects of coronavirus.

Wellbeing Fund and Scottish Crown Estate fund open for bids

More than 2000 charities, community and voluntary groups, and social enterprises are being offered immediate financial support from the £50 million Wellbeing Fund, which has been established to assist third sector organisations working with people impacted by the pandemic.

Organisations will also be able to submit an expression of interest to access financial support from the Wellbeing Fund through the website of the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO).

Communities secretary Aileen Campbell said: “Last month, I announced a £350m package of emergency funding for a wide range of organisations, as communities across Scotland are already adapting their services to ensure they are providing vital support to people who are worst affected by COVID-19.

“This £50m funding will help to continue that work as well as supporting new services to get people through these difficult times.”

Anna Fowlie, chief executive of SCVO, said: “The Wellbeing Fund has already seen much-needed money get to the frontline. Today it is being opened up to an even broader range of voluntary organisations. The voluntary sector has stepped up in communities across Scotland to provide vital support to people who really need it and it’s great to see the Scottish Government recognise that.

“Scotland has been ahead of the game in understanding the vital role that charities and community groups play in dealing with the impact of cornonavirus and at SCVO we are pleased to be playing our part.”

Any organisation wishing to submit an expression of interest can do so through the Coronavirus Third Sector Information Hub on the SCVO website here.

The £50m Wellbeing Fund is part of a £350m package announced by the Scottish Government to support those most affected by the pandemic, and enable a swift response according to local need.

Of this, £10m has been allocated for immediate priorities and £7m committed to support around 2000 charities through small grants.

This leaves £33m of the Wellbeing Fund now open to bids from third sector organisations.

The Scottish Government is working with Corra, Inspiring Scotland, the STV Appeal and SCVO to allocate the funding. They will be assisted by Scotland’s network of Third Sector Interfaces (TSIs) – business gateways which provide a single point of contact and support for charities and social enterprises, with an active presence in every local authority in Scotland.

Meanwhile, third sector organisations affected by COVID-19 can also now benefit from a £7.2m Scottish Crown Estate fund which is devolved to councils.

The 26 councils in Scotland who have coastlines can use their remaining share of the fund which they have not yet allocated to offer direct support to struggling coastal enterprises and organisations, after agreement by the Scottish Government and COSLA.

The fund, from Scottish Crown Estate net revenues, is normally used for projects delivering coastal community benefit.

This is on top of the £2.2 billion package of business support already announced by the Scottish Government.

Environment and climate change secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: “Given the unprecedented pressures which businesses are currently facing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are doing everything we can to support them.

“By widening the remit for the use of Scottish Crown Estate revenues we are enabling local authorities to directly support local coastal businesses, including third sector organisations, facing the full force of this economic shock.

“Following discussions with COSLA we have written to local authorities to encourage them to look at ways they can use these funds, where required, to help hard-pressed businesses and organisations to get through this challenging period.”

Councillor Steven Heddle, COSLA’S environment and economy spokesperson, said:  “This letter is a timely reminder that councils play a key role in supporting local businesses and their coastal communities, especially in these exceptionally challenging times, and that there is scope for funding from Crown Estate net revenues to contribute to this.

“I also welcome the Scottish Government’s intention to ensure that the next tranche of funding is distributed as swiftly as possible to local authorities this year as joint work progresses on the longer-term review to develop an appropriate approach for the future distribution methodology.”

  • Read all of our articles relating to COVID-19 here.
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