Regeneration in Scotland
Applications worth £125 million have been received for a fund to regenerate Scotland's towns, MSPs were told today.
Housing and Communities Minister Alex Neil confirmed that 133 bids had been received for a share of the £60 million Town Centre Regeneration Fund.
The scheme aims to revitalise the country's high streets and complement efforts already underway to support town and city centres across Scotland.
Bids have been submitted from local authorities, businesses, and third sector groups.
Speaking before the Local Government and Communities Committee, Alex Neil, said:
"Almost every local authority area in Scotland has submitted a bid to the Town Centre Regeneration Fund.
"It proves we were right to introduce the fund as a measure to help hard-pressed communities across the country.
"Scotland's town centres are the cornerstone of the economic and social fabric of the nation.
"These are worry times for businesses and families across Scotland. This Government is working flat out to do what we can to ensure Scotland gets through the economic downturn in the strongest possible position."
Bids that satisfy eligibility criteria will be assessed on the basis of the economic, social and environmental benefit they deliver, the time required to deliver and the degree to which they support strategic local plans.
An independent Advisory Panel will make recommendations to Ministers on allocations, making sure that all of Scotland benefits from the Fund. Ministers will take final decisions.
There will be two opportunities to submit applications for consideration. The first deadline date was June 1, 2009 with decisions on applications expected by the end of July. A second assessment round for applications received after June 1 and before August 21 will also take place. Successful bids will be announced in October 2009.