Welcome to my latest e-Magazine.
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This update covers important planning cases at Comiston Farmhouse and Frogston Road as well as the usual Westminster issues including the Agriculture Bill and household poverty. There is also a COVID-19 update and a seasonal Bonfire Night update from Police Scotland.
If you have any issues or concerns please do not hesitate to contact my office.
Telephone: 0131 662 4520
Facebook: Ian Murray for Edinburgh South
My mail bag this month was dominated by constituents difficulties with flu jabs and local government issues.
For a full account of my voting please see the Public Whip website.
This month by far the biggest issue policy wise was the Agriculture Bill – you can see my analysis further down the newsletter.
Grants and Funding
Please see previous newsletters for previously publicised grants that may still be open.
Peter Sowerby Foundation Invites Charities to Apply for New Increasing Access Fund
The Peter Sowerby Foundation has issued an Open Call for applications to its new £1.4 million Increasing Access Fund.
The Fund is aimed specifically at ensuring or increasing access to key services and activities for beneficiaries who have struggled with access due to coronavirus/COVID-19, for example, due to lockdown measures or the fact that existing charitable services are unable to be delivered in a COVID-secure way.
The Fund will support charities to digitally enable access to services, or to adapt their delivery of existing services to comply with social distancing or other COVID-response measures.
Grants are being made available to organisations nationally, working within the Foundation’s key domains:
Healthcare Innovation – organisations in the fields of disability, medical research, mental health and those supporting individuals with long-term health conditions.
Community – organisations working with young people, especially those considered disadvantaged, delivering support to those disproportionately affected by COVID-19 and/or those working to support isolated older people.
Environment – organisations working in the area of horticulture and conservation which have been significantly financially impacted by the closure of venues.
Arts – organisations working in the area of arts, health and well-being where services and programmes are being adapted to benefit communities impacted by COVID-19.
The programme is split into three distinct funding streams:
Digital Breakthrough Grants to pilot new innovations or service delivery – the Foundation will fund five large grants of up to £100,000 to support charities (with a maximum turnover of £5 million) in the area of innovation and transformation in health and social care through digital service delivery.
Digital Good Causes – a fund for grants of up to £25,000 (for organisations with a turnover of around £500,000) seeking to transform or adapt new services digitally.
Adapted Good Causes – a fund for grants of up to £25,000 (for organisations with a turnover of around £500,000) to pilot, test or launch new services in light of the COVID-19 situation.
The fund may close before the deadline as the Foundation expects the fund to be highly competitive.
The deadline for Expressions of Interest is 16 November 2020 (5pm).
Self Management Fund Accepting Applications from Third Sector Organisations in Scotland
This year, a total of £1.5 million is being made available to third sector and community-based organisations. The funding is for developing co-produced, person-centred, self-management activity. Learning from the experience of people living with long-term conditions, and their unpaid carers, should be at the heart of eligible projects.
The Fund aims to build on the resilience, recovery and development demonstrated by the third sector throughout 2020 in the face of COVID-19, and seeks to create an opportunity to plan for the future.
Two types of grants are available:
Starter Grants of up to £5,000 for up to 12 months to conduct research, a feasibility study or a test of change for an idea to support self-management in Scotland.
Builder Grants of up to £60,000 for up to 24 months to either create a new service or develop an existing idea to support self-management in Scotland.
The lead partners and grant holders must be third-sector and community-based organisations but public sector organisations, such as the NHS or local authorities, are welcomed as project partners.
The deadline for applications is 9am on 18 January 2021
Funding to Tackle Food Poverty Locally in the UK
A £1.5 million Fund has opened for applications from local charities and community organisations across the UK that are working to support vulnerable communities affected by food poverty and connect them with the support they need.
The funding is for sustainable food poverty programmes which address any of the following issues:
Redistributing surplus food to the people who need it most in local communities.
Providing easy access to nutritious food and balanced meals for customers with a limited budget.
Educating and upskilling customers on low cost meal solutions, limiting food waste and shopping smartly.
Supporting future generations by prioritising the wellbeing of children and young people struggling with food insecurity.
Food programmes for vulnerable communities, delivered in those communities.
The types of programmes that can be supported include
Programmes that tackle food waste.
Programmes that encourage healthy eating.
Holiday hunger schemes.
The grant amount that organisations can apply for depends on the local area where the applicant organisation operates but most grants will be in the £2,000 to £10,000 range. Larger grants may be made available for organisations that are covering a larger geographic area or are leading on a coordinated partnership response.
The deadline for applications is 13 November 2020.
Grants for Scotland’s Mothballed Nightclubs and Soft Play Centres
The COVID-19 Contingency Fund is part of a Scottish Government package of more than £40 million to support businesses affected by the latest COVID-19 restrictions. Through the first phase of the scheme, targeted funding has been made available for soft play centres and nightclubs that have been closed by law since March 2020.
One-off grants of up to £50,000 will be available to businesses in both sectors. Grants will be based on rateable value. Those with a rateable value of £18,000 or under can obtain £10,000. Those with a rateable value between £18,001 and £51,000 can obtain £25,000 and those with a rateable value above £51,001 can obtain £50,000.
Businesses operating multiple premises will be eligible to claim one full grant plus grants of up to 75% on subsequent properties.
Local authorities will be contacting businesses directly to get the information needed to progress claims.
Launch of IUK’s Future Plastic Packaging Solutions Competition
The Innovate UK (IUK) Future Plastic Packaging Solutions Competition forms part of the Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging Challenge, which aims to establish the UK as a leading innovator in smart and sustainable plastic packaging for consumer products.
The aim of this competition is to support early-stage feasibility studies and industrial research that addresses widely known problems in relation to plastic packaging for consumer products.
IUK aims to fund projects with either direct or indirect commercial outcomes for the partners. For example, a project to improve understanding where the outputs would be made freely available would be in scope.
Proposals must focus on addressing known problems in relation to plastic packaging as the primary application. They can include either the re-design of existing goods, services or business models; or the design of entirely new goods, services or business models to serve an existing need.
IUK has allocated up to £2 million to fund innovation projects in this competition. Grants ranging from £50,000 to £150,000 per project will be awarded. The maximum grant to be shared between partners in a collaborative project is £150,000.
The competition is open to single applicants and collaborations. To lead a project or work alone, the organisation must be a UK registered business of any size or a UK registered charity, not-for-profit or non-government body. The lead can collaborate with other businesses, charities, non-government bodies, not-for-profit or UK-based academic institutions, research organisations, research and technology organisations (RTOs).
The deadline for applications is 20 January 2021 (11:00 GMT).
Funding for Charitable Projects in Great Britain and on the Island of Ireland
Not-for-profit and charitable organisations that are based in Great Britain and on the island of Ireland and that have an annual income of less than £1 million are invited to apply for grants of between £1,000 and £10,000.
Projects in the following areas are eligible for funding:
Positive mental and physical health.
Sport and leisure opportunities.
Protection of the natural environment.
Supporting vulnerable members of society.
Peace and Reconciliation in Northern Ireland:
Improving intercommunity relations.
New opportunities in education, employment and personal development.
Increasing access to third-level education.
Ensuring equality of access to a broad range of educational opportunities for people of all ages.
Arts and Culture:
Supporting cultural awareness and understanding.
Increasing access to art forms and collections.
Community arts initiatives.
During the current funding round, applications are also encouraged for projects that respond to issues related to the coronavirus/COVID-19 crisis.
There is a two-staged application process and initially applicants are asked to submit a Letter of Enquiry that outlines the proposed project.
The deadline for submitting a Letter of Enquiry is 11pm on 6 November 2020
Launch of Hardship Fund for Scotland’s Creative Freelancers
The Hardship Fund for Creative Freelancers has been launched to support those working in the arts and creative sector in Scotland who are experiencing immediate financial hardship due to the loss of income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The objective of this scheme is to provide a one-off bursary to creative freelance professionals to meet their immediate financial need. Funds of between £500 and £2,000 can be requested.
Those working in the arts and creative sector can apply. All applicants must be based in Scotland and must be able to demonstrate they were working and making income as a freelance creative professional before lockdown began (in March 2020).
Those whose work has direct creative outcomes are eligible. This includes visual artists, writers or maker of poetry, prose or fiction, playwrights, actors or theatre-makers, comedians, dancers, musicians, craft makers or designers. Applicants must derive a significant proportion of their income from their role in creating or producing original artistic, creative or design material.
There is no deadline for applications. The fund will remain open until all funds have been allocated. Applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.
Funding for Cycling Facilities in Scotland
A new £8 million Fund has been launched that seeks to invest in cycling facilities across Scotland. Applications are invited from constituted non-profit distributing organisations.
The Fund will be available for the next two years and aims to achieve the following objectives:
Inspire the nation to cycle by providing accessible, inclusive and inspiring facilities that enable and encourage people to engage with cycling in all its forms, regardless of their background, gender, age, ethnicity or ability.
Grow and develop club and community cycling by providing multi-discipline hub facilities with safe coaching and skill development areas that support the growth and development of cycling clubs and hubs.
Grow and develop local and regional event opportunities by providing new or upgrading existing facilities to enable local and regional festivals, competition and events.
The level of funding available depends on the type of project. For “inspire the nation” projects, grants of up to £100,000 are available, while for “club hub” and “events” projects, grants of up to £500,000 will be awarded.
Organisations can use the funding to build or improve facilities such as:
New cycling facilities (tracks, trails, circuits, training areas).
Upgrades or extension to existing facilities.
Accessible toilets and/or inclusive changing facilities.
Multi-use club spaces.
Indoor training and conditioning spaces.
There is a two-stage application process.
The deadline for Expressions of Interest is the first of each month until the funding is fully committed.
Funding to Promote Town Centres and Local Businesses in Scotland
A new £1 million Fund is now open for applications from a range of constituted organisations in Scotland that want to develop projects that improve and promote their local place and communities, especially in light of the coronavirus/COVID-19 crisis.
Organisations can apply for grants of between £500 and £5,000 for revenue and/or capital projects.
Examples of eligible projects include:
Marketing and advertising on what local businesses have to offer.
Providing information for local residents/tourists (such as in the lead up to Christmas) on safe shopping, business, community and leisure opportunities, in local places.
Physical distancing and public health infrastructure.
Making minor adaptations to continue trading safely and improve the local environment.
Small scale green infrastructure projects.
Creating local online job or volunteering platforms.
Shared home delivery digital schemes to encourage digital shopping in the local community using local providers instead of major chains.
Applications are accepted at any time until 5pm on 25 November 2020
Capital Funding for Climate-Friendly Community Projects in Scotland
A new £3.5 million Fund has launched that is provide capital funding to community-based organisations to help them tackle climate change as Scotland transitions to a net zero society.
Organisations can apply for grants of between £1,000 and £100,000 to purchase items that will help their communities reduce the usage of petrol and diesel cars, cut waste, grow local food and reduce emissions from community buildings.
Grants will be awarded for assets that fall into one of the following categories:
Energy efficiency measures in community buildings.
Equipment to support community food growing.
Electric vehicles and charging infrastructure for community-run car clubs, for running existing climate change projects and for delivering services that have been identified as a priority by the community as a result of COVID-19.
Bikes and facilities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Electric bikes and charging infrastructure for community groups running existing climate change projects.
Equipment to reduce waste in the community.
Equipment to support an established community wood fuel scheme.
Applications will be assessed, and funding allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. The Fund is expected to be extremely popular and there may not be enough funding to support all eligible applications received by the final deadline, so organisations are encouraged to apply as early as possible.
The final deadline for applications is midday on 9 November 2020.
Captain’s Road South East Locality Office
The South East Locality Office is currently operating as one of 5 Council Resilience Centres in the city. These are not open to the general public and there are not currently any plans to re-open to a full service given the current pandemic.
Customers are asked to attend in person only if it is critical and are:
experiencing serious or significant harassment
collecting an agreed cash payment
Customers can contact the Council by using any of the contact methods set out on the Council’s website.