‘Have Your Say Highland’ local funding priorities survey concludes in time for £5million funding launch
The ‘Have Your Say Highland’ community engagement survey concluded on the 9th of September in time for the launch of a £5 million pound Community Regeneration Funding programme being administered by The Highland Council. A total of 1,669 people across Highland completed the Council’s ‘Have Your Say’ survey where they were asked to put forward their views on funding priorities for their local area. Contributors were also invited to post on the ‘ideas board’ suggesting projects they would like to see happen in their area with other users able to comment and ‘like’ to show support.
The initial results of the survey have been made available on the ‘Have Your Say Highland’ engagement website www.engagehighland.co.uk where contributions to the ideas board can also be viewed. A further detailed report collating all the responses will follow in November. Information gathered through the overall consultation will inform how funds such as the Highland Council Coastal Communities Fund and the Place Based Investment Programme are delivered over the next year. It is also hoped that by making the results of the work publicly available it will become a useful evidence base for community groups applying for the funding.
Chair of The Highland Council’s Economy and Infrastructure Committee, Councillor Ken Gowans said: “It’s been fantastic to see people responding to Have Your Say survey, and especially the quality of responses received. We really appreciate the time and effort people have taken to put their views forward in a positive and constructive way to have their say on what improvements they would like to see happen in their local area. With the recent launch of the Community Regeneration programme, we now have the funds to back it with over £5 million pounds available for community organisations and groups to bid into to support a wide range of developments and initiatives that will benefit our local communities. The deadline for Expressions of Interest for this funding is 7th October, so I would encourage anyone with a project in mind to get in touch.”
Community Regeneration Funding is an umbrella term being used to cover multiple community-led funding programmes being administered by the Highland Council. The decision to roll out multiple funds under one programme has been taken to streamline the application process for applicants and to administer the funds as efficiently as possible.
The Community Regeneration Funding is made up of:
- Highland Coastal Communities Fund (£3,000,000)
- Place-Based Investment Programme (£1,704,000)
- Community Led-Local Development (£1,084,878)
- UK Shared Prosperity Fund (funding allocation to be announced)
As a proportion of the funding has a spend deadline of March 2023, projects with an immediate start will be prioritised under this initial round. All applications should be able to demonstrate that funding can be spent before March 2024.
Applications for projects with social aims can apply for up to 100% project costs. However, applicants must demonstrate that there is a need for this level of intervention and that match funding options have been explored.
It is generally expected that funding requests should be a minimum of £5,000, however there has been no maximum funding level set, therefore applicants should apply for the amount that is required for their project to be delivered.
Expressions of interest can be submitted using a form on the council’s website where further information about the scheme is provided.
The deadline for expressions of interest for this first round of funding to be submitted is Friday 7 October. Further rounds will be announced in due course.