£175m regeneration fund announced
A £175 million programme of government investment has been announced to regenerate disadvantaged areas and strengthen local communities.
Alex Neil, Secretary for Infrastructure and Capital Investment, set out the Scottish Government’s blueprint for tackling areas of deprivation and poverty.
Mr Neil said: "The regeneration strategy will build on previous successes and also looks at new projects and ways of working together to enhance and support our most disadvantaged communities.
"This is an ambitious programme which seeks to transform the prospects of whole communities. It is not something we can achieve alone and we will require a great deal of partnership working and co-operation to fully realise the economic potential of Scotland’s communities.
"Importantly, we will put the communities themselves at the centre of this process. The people affected by this strategy will be the people who put it into action."
Part of the investment includes a £50 million Spruce (Scottish Partnership for Regeneration in Urban Centres) fund created with the European Commission and the European Investment Bank, through Scotland’s Jessica (Joint European Support for Sustainable Investment in City Areas) fund.
Mr Neil added: "Through the strategy we will champion community-led regeneration, make the most of mainstream resources and work more effectively together to attract funding and other support to end poverty and bring prosperity to communities across Scotland."
Cameron Cook, head of origination for Jessica fund administrators Amber Infrastructure in Scotland, said: "We are committed to investing in regeneration and energy efficiency projects that will provide long-term benefits to local communities throughout Scotland."
Martin Sime, chief executive of Scottish Council of Voluntary Organisations, said: "Scotland’s third-sector organisations are at the heart of regeneration activity and have the potential to do even more."
Steven Tolson, head of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Scotland’s Regeneration Forum, said: "RICS believes that the key to successful urban regeneration is fuelling investment for our cities. RICS Scotland will continue to work closely with Scottish Government, bringing together the vital expertise of chartered surveyors who work in all aspects of regeneration."