UK Community renewal fund

The UK Government has launched a new fund of £220m which aims to support the community and organisations to prepare for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund in 2022. By funding innovative Pilot Programmes, the investment will boost skills, local businesses, and support people into work. The fund will “play a part in uniting and levelling up the whole country” in the national recovery effort following the COVID-19 pandemic. The UK Community Renewal Fund will ensure a smooth transition and continuation in local funding levels by initially matching and then replacing EU Structural and Investment Funds.

All proposed projects must be fully or predominantly revenue based and deliverable within a year. Investments should build on local insight and be able to demonstrate alignment with Net Zero Ambitions. The UK Government urges applicants to consider larger projects (£500,000+) where possible to maximise impact, with a minimum project value of £200,000.

How to apply 

This fund is now closed for applications.  Further updates will be made around late July following a decision of the UK Government on how to allocate the funding.

View the application form and guidance 

If you have any queries about the application process please email

Assessment of applications 

Aberdeen City Council will produce a shortlist of projects compiling up to £3 million by considering bids which respond to a need identified in the Prospectus, do not duplicate existing national or local provision, and will be delivered by a legally constituted organisation that can receive public funds.  It is expected that all bids will demonstrate how they support the implementation of the Local Outcome Improvement Plan

Timeline of delivery

17th May 2021 Bidding closes (12 noon)
May/June 2021 ACC appraises bids and produces a shortlist for submission.
18th June 2021 ACC submits project shortlist to the UK Government.
Late July 2021 UK Government will provide decision on submission.
Early August 2021 ACC will notify any successful applicants and delivery will commence.
November/December 2021 Mid-point review and monitoring of projects by ACC.
31st March 2022 All activity completed, by 31 March 2022. 


All applicants must read the UK Community Renewal Fund Prospectus and the UK Community Fund Technical Note for Project Applicants and Deliverers before preparing their bid.

Project proposals

Aberdeen City Council invites project proposals aiding from local applicants including business groups, voluntary organisations, and education providers which target the following investment priorities through a holistic approach:

Projects may focus on equipping community members with skills so that they can seize local opportunity and meet the needs of an increasingly green and digital economy. Upskilling within various sectors will be integral to social and economic recovery.

  • As an energy hub, the city of Aberdeen has the need and capacity for green retraining, whether this be in industry or a nature-based setting. Green skills interventions should aim to address jobs at risk from decarbonisation.
  • Proposals targeting skill development within health and care sectors are particularly welcomed.
  • Preventing digital exclusion will be paramount to capitalising on green investment and ensuring local people can benefit from growth. Proposals may therefore provide training in technical literacy or address accessibility and connectivity issues.

By targeting local business in Aberdeen, entrepreneurial ventures can be brought to life whilst simultaneously increasing employment. Supporting businesses to fund pilot projects will push an ‘innovation culture’ locally and nationally.

  • Bids may enable business growth through increased employee capacity, investor readiness or product improvement. This could be through business-education collaboration, for example to utilise new technologies.
  • Bids which aim to develop and grow social enterprises are also desired.
  • Projects may support local businesses to adapt commercially and prepare for forthcoming international investment in Aberdeen’s energy resources and technologies.
  • Projects must however benefit more than a single entity.

Applications may focus on investing in community and natural assets to improve wellbeing and nurture productivity and culture. Channelling investment toward specific areas in the Aberdeen region will enhance opportunity and social cohesion in more deprived communities. 

  • Investment could pay for feasibility studies or work to preserve or enhance cultural sites or sporting facilities which attract people to locations in Aberdeen. 
  • Improving green spaces in the city may be the focus of the project, for example enhancing natural assets and spaces within the community so that outdoor spaces can be fully utilised socially and economically. 
  • Projects may aim to regenerate areas by providing detailed plans for location-based community activities. 
  • Encouraging footfall into the city centre, through hospitality, retail, tourism and events.

By supporting those furthest from the labour market, individuals can overcome barriers to employment. Non-conventional routes to employment should also be considered, as mainstream provision is not always accessible for all. Projects may seek to provide individuals with additional support in their journey to employment and should complement but not duplicate existing government initiatives.

  • Proposals for bespoke programmes with a needs-based approach to support individuals in overcoming complex barriers to employment are desired.
  • Bids may aim to connect individuals with public or voluntary provision through multi-agency coordination.
  • Investment may identify barriers and provide support to address them such as alcohol and drug interventions, CV writing and interpersonal skills workshops.
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