£1.3m in funding awarded for local Borders projects

News release from Scottish Borders Council: Friday 05 November 2021

£1.3m in funding awarded for local Borders projects

A total of eight projects from across the Scottish Borders have secured funding from the UK Government’s Community Renewal Fund totalling £1.34million.

The Fund is a £220m pot of money designed to support communities to pilot new ideas and approaches to better support people in need.

The projects successful in securing funding were:

£381,821 to support the development of environmentally focussed courses in entrepreneurship and carbon literacy at Borders College

£218,739 to fund an employment and wellbeing programme for people living in housing associations in the Scottish Borders. The Berwickshire Housing programme will deliver digital skills, financial literacy, and promote good mental health.

£187,272 to develop the electric vehicle charging infrastructure across the Scottish Borders

£160,854 for the Scottish Borders Community Development Company (known as The Bridge) for workshops to help communities deliver larger scale projects

£158,041 to help the development of a Mountain Biking Centre in Tweeddale

£90,739 for a feasibility study to develop an area of land purchased by Newcastleton and District Community Trust

£82,445 to help support the delivery of training and heritage focussed activities by Archaelogy Scotland

£57,120 for the Southern Uplands Partnership to develop energy efficiency training schemes

The money distributed will be used to support innovative responses to local challenges and local needs across the Borders and will pave the way for the introduction of a UK Shared Prosperity Fund which will replace similar funding that was issued through the European Union.

A total of 14 applications were initially identified by Scottish Borders Council and submitted to the UK Government for their consideration.

There remains one submitted bid which is pending a decision and the outcome will be communicated as soon as possible.

The projects that have been granted funding are required to deliver their projects by a deadline of 30 June 2022.

All of the successful applicants will be supported by SBC throughout the delivery of their projects to help maximise their impact and ensure they are delivered within the stated timeframe.

Council Leader, Councillor Shona Haslam, said: “Large scale projects that are driven by people who live in our communities and are passionate about making the Scottish Borders a better place to live and work can make a real difference to the lives of many.

“The support provided by the UK Government’s Community Renewal Fund is vital to helping innovative and locally-led projects breathe new life into towns and villages across the Borders and help support the regions recovery from COVID-19.

“Whilst it is great news that eight projects have been successful in securing funding, we will be working closely with those unsuccessful applicants to identify alternative means of taking forward their projects.”

Councillor Mark Rowley, Executive Member for Economic Regeneration and Finance, said: “The £1.3m funds that will be distributed to these projects will deliver a major boost to our region and will provide the capital to get important community-led projects off the ground. “The amount of money granted to these individual projects reflects the strength of their applications and their potential to improve the lives of Borderers by delivering jobs and improving local communities.

“It’s welcome news to see the timescale for delivery of these projects being extended after a delay to the announcement of funding. This will give much needed additional time to allow our projects to be delivered to their full potential and provide maximum benefit to Scottish Borders.