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New Community Challenge Fund created to combat impact of Covid-19

Chairman of the Badenoch and Strathspey Area Committee, Bill Lobban. Picture by Sandy McCook.

A new fund has been set up to support the regeneration of Badenoch and Strathspey post-Covid.

Badenoch and Strathspey area committee has decided to merge two funding packages from Highland Council to create the Community Challenge Fund.

Earlier this year, the local authority allocated £100,000 to each ward to help communities recover from the pandemic as part of the Place-Bad Investment Fund (PBIF).

The scheme was aimed at helping combat the four serious impacts of Covid-19 – health, societal and financial consequences and non-direct health complications.

The Scottish Government recently allocated more funding through PBIF for Highland Council totalling £1,963,000. of which Badenoch and Strathspey received £129,222.

Now local councillors have decided to combine both packages to create the Community Challenge Fund.

Funding open to all communities in area

This new fund combines the remaining £50,000 from the original £100,000 investment and the recently allocated £129,222 to help with regeneration projects.

A total of £50,000 has already been put towards supporting housing in Badenoch and Strathspey.

Bill Lobban, chairman of the Badenoch and Strathspey Area Committee, said: “The new Challenge Fund will be open to all communities across Badenoch and Strathspey for regeneration projects.

“The projects should consider the four harms of Covid, particularly in relation to recovery.

“The PBIF funding is capital in nature and will be in place for five years, to enable and advance place-based investment.

“The ward Place-Based Funding will complement the PBIP funding through the provision of support for both one-off and longer-term project development, thus providing the opportunity for community groups to consider more impactful projects for their communities.”

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