Glasgow City Council has approved plans to bid for funding from the UK Government for three new programmes – the Community Renewal, Levelling Up and Community Ownership Funds.
The first of these is a £220million fund, run as a competitive process with priorities of investment in skills, local businesses, communities and place, and supporting people into employment. A shortlist of projects – up to a maximum of £3million per place – must be submitted by local authorities by 18 June, before the successful applicants are announced from late July.
The Levelling Up Fund will see £800million available for projects in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. These projects come under three themes: smaller transport schemes that will make a genuine difference in local areas; town centre and high street regeneration; and support for the maintenance and expansion of cultural and heritage assets.
For this fund, the UK Government has devised an index placing local authorities into three categories of need, related to economic recovery and growth; improved transport connectivity; and regeneration. Glasgow is placed in the top priority category for both the Community Renewal and Levelling Up funding programmes.
The third of these funds will see £150million made available for community groups to access up to £250,000 in match-funding to assist them buy or take over local community assets at risk of being lost. These groups would then run the assets as community businesses. A bidding prospectus for this fund will be published in June.
The range of community assets listed by the UK Government for this fund include community-owned sports clubs, cinemas and theatres, galleries and museums, music venues, parks, post office buildings, pubs, shops, and sporting and leisure facilities.
Glasgow City Council’s approach to considering bids for these funds will see its Economic Development team will coordinate a bidding and appraisal process for the Community Renewal Fund with partners and stakeholders through the Glasgow Partnership for Economic Growth, and it is proposed there will be a strong focus on ‘net zero’. Other teams within the council will coordinate the bidding and appraisal process for the Levelling Up and Community Ownership Funds, with all teams reporting back to a council committee before submission deadlines.