A new fund designed to boost local jobs in the wake of Covid-19 while also protecting Scotland’s coastline has been launched.
The Sustainable Communities Fund, which opens for applications on Friday, is offering a number of ‘green’ grants for local projects which increase biodiversity or reduce flood risk, pollution or carbon emissions.
Made up of two different programmes, Crown Estate Scotland say they expect a combined total investment of £750,000 over the next three years.
The Community Capacity Grants Programme, open to all communities within five miles of Scotland’s coastline or one of Crown Estate Scotland’s four rural estates, will provide early stage financial support for community projects that will contribute to local regeneration and sustainable development.
Grants will range between £10,000 and £50,000, with a total of £150,000 being made available in the first year of the programme.
The Environment Grants Programme, available to Crown Estate Scotland tenants, will provide grants of between £5000 and £20,000 for projects that can deliver demonstrable environmental benefits within 18 months of receiving the award.
A total of £100,000 will be made available for this programme in the first year.
Crown Estate Scotland, a public corporation that manages land and property on behalf of Scottish ministers, is responsible for 37,000 hectares of rural land with agricultural tenancies and forestry in Glenlivet, Fochabers, Applegirthand and Whitehill.
It manages just under half the foreshore around Scotland, including 5800 moorings and some ports and harbours, alongside the leasing of virtually all seabed out to 12 nautical miles covering some 750 fish-farming sites and agreements with cable and pipeline operators.
It also manages the rights to offshore renewable energy and gas and carbon dioxide storage out to 200 nautical miles.
Cabinet secretary for the environment, climate change and land reform Roseanna Cunningham said: “Communities across the country are playing a vital role in maintaining our resilience, our spirit and local support networks during the Covid-19 outbreak. They will also play a critical role in our recovery from the pandemic.
“The launch of Crown Estate Scotland’s Sustainable Communities Fund will provide tangible support to help deliver a green recovery in coastal communities – who are also benefitting this year from £9.7m of Crown Estate asset revenues – as well as its rural estates.”
Full details on the application process and how grants will be allocated can be found here.