MIDLOTHIAN Council has been allocated £1.36 million from the Scottish Government to support local economic recovery and the impact of the cost of living crisis on low-income households.
The funding is part of an £80 million Local Authority COVID Economic Recovery Fund distributed to councils across Scotland.
£398,781 will be spent on business support projects aimed at strengthening the local economy. This includes £80,000 for a Social Enterprise Start and Grow fund to help develop community-based social enterprises. A £15,000 fund will also be available for local business associations, providing grants to help businesses come together, collaborate and deliver local projects.
Midlothian Tourism Forum will receive a £10,000 grant to cover the cost of a part-time worker and a website. This will help them drive forward marketing campaigns and increase collaboration in the tourism sector. A Green Transition Fund of £268,781 will also be available for businesses that have signed up to the Midlothian Carbon Neutral Pledge and have a Green project that requires financial support.
Midlothian Council Leader, Councillor Kelly Parry, welcomed the funding.
“This recovery fund is being used to help those low-income households who have felt the greatest impact of the pandemic and are now being hit by the cost of living crisis,” said Councillor Parry. “However, we also want to support people find employment and training opportunities, and help local businesses recover, adapt and grow to help build a stronger, greener local economy.”
The council has already approved spending £961,219 from the Recovery Fund to help low income households as part of the Live Well Locally project. The funding will be used to help local people access food and heat their homes and will support poverty prevention work.
Local food bank provision will get £100,000 to make sure those most in need can feed their families while £400,000 will go to expanding the council’s ‘trusted partners’ – a network of local organisations offering practical help and support to those most in need.