Place Based Investment Programme brings economic benefits to local communities
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A new report by the Improvement Service has found that the Place Based Investment Programme continues to bring benefits to councils and local communities.

The Improvement Service recently published an evaluation of the second year of the Place Based Investment Programme - Direct Grants to Local Authorities, covering the period April 2022 to March 2023

The report contains evidence that the programme, which is funded by the Scottish Government, continues to offer additionality by playing a critical role both in acting as a catalyst to attract additional funding, and also in enhancing existing projects for which funding has already been secured. The ability to use the funding, albeit within defined parameters, in a flexible way, to address local needs and priorities remains as one of the key strengths of the Programme identified by local authorities.

There has been a degree of community involvement in around three-quarters of all the projects. In relation to climate change mitigation, whilst the majority of projects include an element of improving energy efficiency, increasingly the focus is on active travel or reducing the need to travel by increasing the availability and accessibility of local services.

Creating jobs in both the short term, during the construction phase, and the longer term, through support for local services and businesses, remains the most frequently reported contribution the funding makes to supporting economic growth.

In comparison with the first year, there is increased evidence that addressing inequalities has been considered. The most frequently reported way projects have addressed inequality relates to improving physical access to buildings. However, there are indications that projects addressing health inequalities and others which support initiatives to address economic inequality are also being carried out.

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