Coastal Communities Fund in Scotland

In January the UK Government introduced a new programme called the Coastal Communities Fund to support economic development projects in coastal areas across the UK. The Fund will have around £23 million available each year for projects and will be delivered on behalf of the government by the Big Lottery Fund.

In this first year in Scotland there are two funds: one for the Highlands and Islands with a budget of £1.85M in and one for the rest of Scotland with £2.05M.

The Coastal Communities Fund is designed to support the economic development of coastal communities by promoting sustainable economic growth and jobs, so that people are better able to respond to the changing economic needs and opportunities of their area.

Capital and revenue grants in excess of £50,000 are available for a wide range of applicant organisations and projects which benefit coastal communities. We are particularly keen to see applications from strong, cross-sector partnerships that will work together for the benefit of the community.

By coastal community we mean any coastal settlement within a local authority whose boundaries include UK foreshore, including local authorities whose boundaries only include estuarine foreshore.  Coastal settlements include seaside towns, ports and other areas which have a clear connection to the coastal economy.

If you are not sure whether your area is eligible, you can contact us on the number below.

Applicants will be expected to show that their project will contribute to the Coastal Community Fund programme outcomes – the changes that will come about as a result of your project – and all projects have to meet the following outcome

  • Coastal communities are better able to use their assets (physical, natural, social, economic and cultural) to promote sustainable economic growth and jobs;

All project must also meet at least one of the following outcomes:

  • Coastal Communities have a greater capacity to create a sustainable economic future and are better equipped to adapt to change;
  • Partnerships are developed to support economic innovation, enterprise and investment either within a community and/ or across a number of coastal communities;
  • People have more opportunities for training and skills development, including volunteering.

In Scotland, there are also the following priorities:

  • Projects should promote sustainable economic growth and jobs in tourism, fisheries and/or aquaculture sectors
  • Projects should be based in small and medium size coastal communities – communities around 60,000 people or less – facing economic challenges
  • Projects which will help to deliver Axis 4 of the European Fisheries Fund in Scotland. If you intend to apply to the Coastal Communities Fund for the balance of funding to deliver an Axis 4 European Fisheries Fund project, you should tell us this in your application. You should also tell us which Fisheries Local Action Group you will be applying to, and the intended decision dates. 

The deadline for applications in Scotland to the current round of Coastal Communities will be 27th April 2012.

The Fund is intended to be a rolling fund with annual bidding rounds. We expect there will be at least two future years of funding commencing in April 2013 and April 2014.  

You can apply for funding for up to two years from the date of approval. 

For more information please call 0300 456 4746 or email


  1. Last week Danny Alexander arrived to announce £100’000 of funding to the University Marine Biological Station in Millport. A decision based on its role as a local employer and the level of income it generates in the small community here on the island of Cumbrae. This Monday morning the managers (based at the University of London) announce to the staff that there will be a massive cut it funding, likely to result in the closure of the marine station in 12 months.

    Its wonderful that the government see the value of the marine station to both the students that frequent it, and the community in which it exists, could someone please pass that along to the people up top?

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