Communities across Scotland are set to benefit from an investment of over £24 million through the latest round of funding from the Scottish Government’s innovative Cashback for Communities programme.
The announcement today (Wednesday, October 23) will take the total amount of criminal money seized and put back into communities across Scotland to over £74 million since 2008.
The Justice Secretary, Kenny MacAskill MSP, announced details of the latest three year phase today during his visit to the Cashback-funded School of Rugby at Wallace High, the Scottish School of Sport, Stirling.
Scottish Rugby has been awarded over £3.6 million of funding since 2008, which has helped to provide a range of club, schools and diversionary programmes which have enabled thousands of young people to make a positive progression in their lives: getting into regular and sustained positive and healthy activities in schools and clubs; learning new skills; developing positive behaviours; and for around 700 young people a year, the chance to gain the CashBack-funded Youth Coaching Course qualification and experience in coaching and volunteering. This course has led to a number of young people becoming modern apprentices with Scottish Rugby, with opportunities to progress into higher or further education or even full time employment.
Speaking at the visit, Kenny MacAskill, said: “Since Cashback for Communities was introduced by this Government in 2007, thousands of young people have benefited from over 1.1 million sporting, arts and community activities, all funded from ill-gotten cash seized from crooks.
“There is no doubt that our young people are the key to building an even more prosperous Scotland for the future and I am delighted to announce over £24 million of funding to be invested in our young people and their communities over the next three years.
“Cashback is uniquely placed to tap into the significant potential of every young person in Scotland. It is always a privilege to meet those who have benefited from the initiative and hear the positive impact the programme has had on their lives, and I am delighted that the Scottish Government will continue to fund Cashback into 2017.”
Scottish Rugby's Director of Rugby Operations, Colin Thomson, said: "The CashBack for Communities funding has been invaluable to our clubs and schools across Scotland over the last five years.
"We look forward to working with the government in the coming months to ensure that the funding announced today continues to contribute to the development of Scottish Rugby."
Louise Martin CBE, Chair of sportscotland, which manages the sport strand of the Cashback fund, added:
“Cashback is an excellent additional Scottish Government funding stream and sportscotland is delighted to be involved in the latest tranche which will provide further opportunities for the development of sport across Scotland.
“We look forward to working with the Scottish Government and sports to help maximise the benefits of this significant investment.”
Cashback for Communities is a unique Scottish initiative that takes money recovered through proceeds of crime legislation and invests that in community activities and facilities largely, but not exclusively, for young people at risk of turning to crime and anti-social behaviour as a way of life.
Cashback delivers a wide range of projects through Scotland’s leading sporting, arts, business, community and youth associations which range from diversionary sporting activity to more long-term potentially life-changing intervention projects which turn young people’s lives around and provide them the opportunity of getting into employment, education, or volunteering.
Cashback is a managed fund which allocates funding to partner organisations to deliver projects across Scotland. The application process will open on Friday 1 November 2013. The deadline for applications will be 31 December 2013.
An application pack detailing the eligibility criteria for Cashback funding and the timetable for applications will be published on the SG website.