Following the special budget meeting of The Highland Council the Council has now written to a number of third-sector and charitable Early Years groups and organisations affected by the savings proposals agreed by members.
The six groups and organisations impacted by the removal of grants have been provided with a six-month notice period (from 1 April 2023), meaning that funding will come to an end in September 2023.
The letter sent by the Council provides a list which illustrates some of the other Council funding streams which organisations can bid into, as well as some resources relating to other external funding streams.
The main streams are the Council’s Coastal Communities strategic fund; the Regeneration Fund; Ward Discretionary Budgets and Common Good Funds.
If more opportunities arise, these will also be shared with the appropriate groups and organisations.
Leader of the Council, Councillor Raymond Bremner, said:
“We understand the cost of living crisis is affecting everyone and I know that the impact of the agreed savings and removal of funding will naturally be a concern to some organisations.
“These decisions were not taken lightly and we have tried to be fair.
“I hope the fact that the Council has built in a six-month period of notice – effectively enabling funding to continue in full until September 2023 – will provide the affected organisations with the opportunity to look at their options and alternative funding streams available to them.”
Councillor Bremner continued:
“I know that Council officers will be working closely with these organisations over the coming weeks and months to assist with sourcing equivalent funding to allow their work to continue.”
Convener Bill Lobban added:
“There is a genuine commitment from the Council and indeed by many local Members, to assist these organisations with identifying alternative funding sources.”
“To assist with identifying and applying to other Council funding streams, the Council will be hosting some online ‘drop-in’ sessions where Council officers, who support and administer these funds, will attend and provide information and advice.
“Details of the sessions will be circulated as a matter of urgency.”