Supporting community-led development

Key points:

  • Increasing shared ownership of renewable energy
  • Giving local communities control of land and properties

The new Community and Renewable Energy Scheme, worth £10 million per year, supports the development of shared ownership opportunities and we are publishing our review of Good Practice Principles for Shared Ownership of Onshore Renewable Energy Projects.

Through our Empowering Communities Programme and new Investing in Communities Fund, we will continue to support community-led action to deliver inclusive growth.

We will continue to support Scotland’s Towns Partnership to promote the Town Centre First Principle and provide support and services which contribute to the vibrancy, vitality and viability of town centres and neighbourhoods.

Support the delivery of the £50 million Town Centre Fund to enable local authorities to stimulate and support a wide range of investments which encourage town centres to diversify and flourish, creating footfall through local improvements and partnerships.

Building on the Town Centre First Principle, we will support and promote the Place Principle which asks that all those responsible for providing services and looking after assets in a place need to work and plan together, and with local communities, to improve the lives of people, support inclusive growth and create more successful places.

We will support communities in urban areas to buy buildings and land that can be used to for the long-term benefit of the community. Asset Transfer legislation gives community organisations a right to ask to take over control of land or buildings owned by local councils, Scottish Government, and other public authorities - this is helping revitalise local economies by putting control of these properties into community hands and supporting community development.

We are supporting communities to become more resilient and sustainable through the ownership and management of land and land assets, with our £10 million per year Scottish Land Fund extended to 2021.

Phase two of Scotland’s food and drink industry export plan was launched in June 2019. We also launched a Regional Food Fund of £250k to support growth in Scotland’s local/regional food and drink sector to double the amount that visitors spend on food and drink.

We have provided support for the CAN DO Places initiative, which supports the creation of co-working spaces that benefit communities.

Since 2015 we have provided over £1 billion of support to over 14,000 individual projects across Scotland through the Scottish Rural Development Programme, including over 990 LEADER projects to encourage communities and individuals to develop projects to meet local needs.
We established a Scottish Rural Parliament that has empowered rural communities across Scotland by giving them a stronger voice to initiate change at a local and national level.

We are committed to supporting, strengthening and protecting island communities. We will publish the first ever National Islands Plan by the end of the year. It will set out how we and other public sector partners will work to improve outcomes for island economies and communities and, once it is published, we will report on our progress each year.

Key resources:

Local Energy Scotland

Scotland’s Towns

Scottish Government: Scottish Land Fund

Connect Local Regional Food Fund

Can Do Places

Scotland Food and Drink: Sector strategies

Scottish Rural Parliament

Scotland’s islands: proposed national plan