Funding blow to Scots third sector

Funding blow to Scots third sector 

Regeneration & Renewal

Voluntary groups delivering small projects have been excluded from applying for crisis funding being provided by the Scottish Executive.

Last November, the Scottish Executive announced a £12 million ‘shadow funding’ round to help third sector projects previously funded through the European Social Fund to cope with a delay before the next seven-year round of European structural funding begins later this year (R&R, 1 December 2006, p5).

But it emerged this week that voluntary groups can only apply to the fund to pay for projects with total costs of more than £200,000.

The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations claims that 50 voluntary groups that delivered 103 projects under the previous 2000-06 funding round will be unable to apply for the cash because their project costs fall under the threshold. An SCVO spokesman warned of project closures and redundancies and said vulnerable service users would be hit.

But the Executive’s deputy minister for enterprise Allan Wilson said a number of voluntary bodies welcomed the Executive’s approach. ‘We regard a modest project threshold … as an important step to balance partner expectations in such a changed funding environment with the focus on more strategic, legacy projects,’ he said.