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Councils wanted to test debt advice funding model


The Improvement Service (IS) is looking for a number of local authorities to help test a model of distributing funding for debt advice.


In August 2019, we published an interim report on ‘Potential funding models and delivery approaches which could be used to allocate the levy funding devolved to the Scottish Government for debt advice’. The report explored options for potential funding models for use of the debt levy funding that has recently been devolved to the Scottish Government, to obtain the greatest impact and offer added value.


Whilst identifying seven potential models, the report suggested that, in the short term, there were two models which warranted further research, development, scoping and engagement. One of these is disseminating funding, in whole or part, through direct grants to local authorities.


We are seeking a very small number of local authorities which are willing to take part in this ‘test of change’, which will consider the advantages, challenges and drawbacks of allocating debt levy funding through direct grants to local authorities. This approach will be assessed and evaluated against set criteria and the results used to influence future decision making.


It is anticipated that the ‘test of change’ will be delivered for around a year and a maximum £25,000 grant is available to meet any additional non-recurring costs. Identifying what works and, equally importantly, what doesn’t is an essential part of the process.


Applications are invited from local authorities. Joint applications from local authorities working collaboratively with other local authorities would be particularly welcome. Further information about the criteria that must be met, along with an application form, can be obtained by e mailing Karen Carrick at


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