The UK Government is opening applications for the third round of the £150 million Community Ownership Fund, which will enable groups looking to save pubs, historic buildings, music venues and sport facilities at risk of being lost to apply for up to £1 million funding.

The requirement for match-funding is as low as 10 per cent, making it easier for communities to acquire assets without raising additional private funding; and, for the first time, Scotland’s 1,200 community councils will also be able to apply to the fund, which has previously only been available to charities and community groups.

The Community Ownership Fund is already supporting 15 projects across Scotland with £3.1 million, including Gorebridge’s Vogrie Hall.

This forms part of the UK Government’s wider commitment to levelling up communities across Scotland, with £2.3 billion being invested so far in Levelling Up programmes, including over £10 million work at the former Cockenzie Power Station site to make the land useable for job creation opportunities, and pitch improvements at Foresters Park in Tranent.

This is the union in action and underlines the importance of Scotland remaining part of the United Kingdom.

I look forward to seeing the continued benefits of the UK Government’s Levelling Up programme reach communities across East Lothian and would be very happy to support any group in need of advice on applying for funding.