South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has welcomed the £132,209 which was awarded to six projects in Dumfries and Galloway from the Scottish Government’s Supporting Communities Fund, however he believes the region should have received more money.

Castle Douglas Development Forum; the Creetown Initiative Ltd; Kirkconnel and Kelloholm Development Trust; Moffat Town Hall Re-development Trust; the Stove Network and Stranraer Development Trust all benefited from a share of the cash.

The first round of cash from the Supporting Communities Fund totalled £10m and is designed to provide funding to community anchor organisations such as charities, voluntary organisations, community-controlled housing associations and social enterprises to help support local responses to the pandemic.

Dumfries and Galloway received just £132,209 from the £10m, considerably less than the expected share. Generally when it comes to funding, for example for the local council from Government, our region could expect a 3 per cent share of any funding pot. Had we received 3 per cent of the fund, it would have been double the level allocated to Dumfries and Galloway.

Colin Smyth said: “This money will provide a very welcome cash injection for these six amazing groups and I know they will put the funds to good use in their communities.

“However, I had hoped this fund would provide a lot more for our region, as I know of many other organisations who have been denied or who have missed out on funding this time.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has put enormous financial strain on our community organisations, charities and other groups, and many are currently struggling to cope.

“As we move slowly out of lockdown, there are groups in our region who are seriously wondering if they’re going to be able to continue and I will continue to push the Scottish Government to free up cash wherever it can to help these anchors of our communities.”

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