The Big Lottery Fund today launched a new multi-million pound fund to help disadvantaged communities across Scotland with the help of Isobel Holbourn of the Foula Electricity Trust.
The Investing in Communities portfolio will provide hundreds of millions of pounds across Scotland and is part of a wider £400 million investment planned by the Big Lottery Fund in Scotland over the next five years to 2015.
Scottish organisations can now apply for up to five years of funding for projects designed to help communities and individuals most in need.
The target areas for investment include supporting local communities to acquire or develop their own assets, such as a community centre or wind turbine, to supporting vulnerable adults back into work or improving the quality of life for hard pressed families.
The launch was spearheaded by people from communities that have benefited from Big Lottery Funding, among them the Foula Electricity Trust, which has received two grants which were used to provide the island with its first 24 hour electricity supply.
Talking about how the grants helped the people of Foula, Mrs Holbourn said: “The first Lottery money that we got brought in extra hydro power which, combined with our solar panels and the diesel generator backing it up, we were able to ensure 24 hour electricity which was just an absolute godsend.
“There’s the potential here for services to be better and perhaps encourage another couple of young families to come into island. In the Foula context that is a very, very important and a very wonderful prospect.”
Big Lottery Fund Scotland chairwoman Alison Magee said: “I’m delighted to announce that Investing in Communities is now open for business. In these challenging times we hope that this new Lottery funding will open the door of possibility for local people and communities facing the greatest need here in Scotland.”
For more information on Investing in Communities including how to apply, guidance notes, investment area information and required outcomes, and all the Big Lottery Fund’s work in Scotland go to www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/scotland