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Sunday, May 28, 2023

Highland Coastal Communities Fund Publishes First Annual Review 

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The Highland Coastal Communities Fund has published its annual review to showcase projects approved during the first round of funding.

This coincides with the ‘Have your say Highland’ community consultation where people have an opportunity to say how they would like to see area-based funding prioritised in their local area.  

The Highland Coastal Communities Fund (HCCF) is a fund derived from revenue generated by the Crown Estate marine assets in Scotland.

The Scottish Government for the first time, made this money available as annual allocations to local authorities, to fund projects delivering economic regeneration and sustainable development in coastal areas.

In recognition of the diversity of communities across Highland and the desire for local decision making, it was agreed to devolve the Crown Estates funding to area committees. 

The fund launched in November 2020 and saw a huge demand for funding throughout Highland.

Over the first year, HCCF awarded over £3 million to 94 community projects – this equates to over £15 million of leverage investment to local communities.

The types of projects funded during the first round included:

  • local sports facilities and community halls;
  • services that support vulnerable people;
  • projects to preserve culture and heritage;
  • support for community-led visitor management solutions;
  • economic recovery initiatives; and
  • projects addressing the climate emergency.

Chair of the Council’s Environment and Infrastructure Committee, Cllr Ken Gowans said:

“In line with the Highland Council’s commitment to localism, the decision on which eligible projects to receive funding is taken at area committees.

“This is to ensure that money is being directed to where people feel it is most needed and that projects which are important to local communities are given the best chance of success.

“It is inspiring to see some of the projects funded to date being promoted in the HCCF annual review brochure.

“It provides an opportunity for other community groups to see the types of projects funded throughout Highland.” 

He added:

“With the 2022/23 Crown Estates annual allocation now confirmed by Scottish Government, the Community Regeneration Team are preparing for the re-opening of the fund in the coming weeks.

“There is still time for residents to take part in the ‘Have your say Highland’ community consultation until 9 September 2022, so I encourage everyone to participate.

The results of the consultation will help determine how the new HCCF allocation will be prioritised to fund new community projects.”

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