Question reference: S6W-20925
- Asked by: Martin Whitfield, MSP for South Scotland, Scottish Labour
- Date lodged: 5 September 2023
Current status: Answered by Joe FitzPatrick on 20 September 2023
To ask the Scottish Government for what reason it has reportedly (a) reduced funding for the Coalfields Regeneration Trust (CRT) and (b) instructed the CRT to end its grant programme.
In 2023-24, funding is being delivered within the context of the most challenging budget settlement since devolution as set out by the Deputy First Minister in our Medium Term Financial Strategy, which makes clear the difficult choices that would be required to reach a sustainable footing.
The Scottish Government has awarded a grant of nearly £650k to Coalfields Regeneration Trust (CRT) for 2023-24 which will enable the organisation to sustain its core operations and deliver its programme of work in Scotland. This builds on the £28 million provided to CRT to date.
In terms of the sustainability of CRT’s grant programme, officials have been signalling the need for CRT to move away from this historical arrangement and to explore other funding routes for this activity. This approach is to ensure the funding available can support CRT to maintain its focus on delivering its key services which will have the greatest impact on coalfield communities. This will also ensure CRT’s grant funding activity is in line with the latest grant making conditions and financial control measures, which apply across all Scottish Government grants.
The Minister for Local Government Empowerment and Planning held a constructive meeting with CRT on 14 September, providing the opportunity to discuss their concerns and the challenges. The Scottish Government will continue to work closely with CRT and others towards the regeneration of our coalfields communities.