Members of the Policy and Co-ordination Committee have agreed to a funding package of just over £5.3million to support local economic recovery and ease cost of living impacts on low-income households.
The money will be shared between the following initiatives:
- £1.2m for business grants to support product/process improvement
- £1m for the Scottish Welfare Fund
- £750,000 for Breakfast/After School Clubs & Childcare assistance
- £700,000 to facilitate pre-employment training
- £550,000 for Fuel Poverty
- £480,000 for Hardship fund
- £300,000 for the Development fund for town centre businesses
- £240,000 for Rates Hardship relief
- £200,000 for staffing to support logistics and distribution
Head of Communities, Paul Vaughan, said: “The Covid pandemic has completely changed the priorities we've had to pursue, and the support people have needed over the last two years.
"Helping Fife to recover is our priority and we have a key role to play in supporting the local economy and tackling poverty that has sadly grown during the pandemic – according to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, it estimates that there are 33,370 families in Fife who are living in poverty. These families are struggling to heat their homes pay their bills and provide adequate food for their families.
“The COVID pandemic, the substantial increase in the cost of living coupled with the fact that benefits and wages are not keeping up with inflation means people need additional support to manage and avoid crisis.
“This funding will be used to support businesses and communities in a variety of ways so that we can build back better, together. It will help us to make a real difference.”
"We’re putting money into things that matter to our communities, from helping the local economy to recover to extending the Fife Food Crisis fund for another 12 months.
“We’ll also use the funding to support the development and future of the Cottage Centre’s “Big Hoose” initiative. This project distributes basic household items no longer wanted by companies, to families in need. The ethos of the project, and the stress placed on helping people to help themselves, is consistent with our plan to shift the emphasis from crisis to prevention and going beyond the supply of basic food and non-food necessities to better support people to get out of poverty and avoid crisis.
“We’ve asked officer to evaluate each initiative so that we can learn what is the most effective interventions and allow us to make decisions moving forward.”
For more information about the help that is available please visit www.fife.gov.uk/coronavirus