Rural Challenge Fund applications

Rural Challenge Fund applications





Community-led projects across rural Scotland are being given the opportunity to share in a £1.5 million funding boost.


Money from the Scottish Rural Partnership Fund (SRPF) has previously been used to modernising village halls, provide mobile childcare facilities and develop accessible counselling services.Today’s announcement invites applications for the 2005/06 allocations.


Speaking on a visit to an initiative in Coalburn, South Lanarkshire, which is helping the community to develop IT skills, access training for jobs and improve local childcare facilities, Mr Wilson said:


‘This fund is provided for projects which aim to ensure that everyone in rural Scotland can access the opportunities and services that will enhance their quality of life. Projects from Dumfries & Galloway to Shetland have been supported by the Fund over the past eight years.


‘I am delighted to see today the progress that the people of Coalburn have made in developing the former miners’ welfare building into a modern community facility offering everything from computer training to play-groups and exercise classes.


‘The success of the SRPF has convinced me to make a further £1.5 million available to ensure more rural communities can seize the initiative and improve facilities in their area.’


Coalburn one-stop-shop aims to provide the former mining community with access to computer and job training as well as a community centre for various interest and hobby groups. The project has been provided with funding of approximately £600,000 from a variety of sources including the Rural Challenge Fund and local Capital Grants Scheme.


Other projects supported recently include:


The Lairg Community Centre in Sutherland. A grant of £100,000 was awarded to modernise and develop this vital community facility which lies at the very heart of Lairg.


Kick-Start Community Well-being in Moffat. A grant of £48,112 over 2 years will help the group employ two project officers to deliver health activities in the areas.


Play Direct in the Highlands. Servicing the far north of Scotland, this project is providing mobile childcare to parents who are having difficulty in accessing training and employment opportunities. The project was awarded £40,000 over two years.


Brodick Hall, Isle of Arran. Local leisure and culture groups will benefit from improvements to the stage lighting and sound facilities at this community hall on the island of Arran. Grant awarded was £12, 353 over one year.


Counselling in Outer Isles of Orkney. This project is delivering an accessible counselling service to people in Orkney’s most remote island communities. One-to-one sessions backed up by video-linked counselling will remove some of the barriers that individuals living in remote communities face in receiving support and advice. Grant awarded was £21,719 over two years.


The SRPF was set up in 1996. It has three elements:


Rural Challenge Fund (RCF) encourages rural projects, which provide innovative ways of tackling specific rural problems, or create a wider range of opportunities in rural areas. Grants of up to 50 per cent of the total cost of the project, up to a maximum of £50,000 are available for a minimum of one and a maximum of three years


Rural Strategic Support Fund (RSSF) facilitates the establishment of local rural partnerships. Grants up to a maximum of £50,000 are available for a minimum of one and a maximum of three years


Local Capital Grants Scheme (LCGS) supports local voluntary, youth and community organisations to provide new or upgrade existing community premises. Capital grants of up to 50 per cent of total costs, up to a maximum of £100,000, are available. Applicants should apply through their local authority


All three funds are run as an annual competition. The closing date for completed applications for the 2005/2006 round of awards is October 21, 2004.


Application forms are available on the Executive’s Internet site:


Source: Scottish Executive