Local communities in Renfrewshire will have the opportunity to apply for a share of £1.5million for innovative, sustainable projects that will enhance where they live.

Bringing together the council’s Community Empowerment Fund and Climate Change Action Fund into one easy-to-access process, the new Sustainable Communities Fund aims to regenerate local spaces and tackling inequality through community collaboration.

Potential projects that could be funded include the restoration or development of buildings, grants for equipment to support community initiatives like bike repairs, tools for hire or community kitchens, or enhancements to local biodiversity through planting projects, growing grounds or community gardens.

Other potential project areas include funding to investigate community asset transfers, to purchase infrastructure or equipment for improvements to community spaces, or to recruit, train and retain volunteers.

Constituted community groups can apply for up to £10,000, £10-25,000 or up to £100,000 for their project depending on its size and scale and council officers will support all applicants to apply in the correct manner.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “We’re committed to empowering local people to be part of how we improve our communities, which has been shown through the overwhelming success of our #YouDecide campaign and the Green Spaces, Parks and Play Areas, and Villages Investment Fund – with millions invested in hundreds of projects in Renfrewshire.

“The two funds we’re bringing together to create the Sustainable Communities Fund have also been fantastic in giving local communities the opportunity to use their local knowledge to transform where they live, and this new easy-to-access fund will strengthen this further once again.

“With almost £1.5million available for local people to use on projects they know are needed, this is a real chance for groups to make a difference to their neighbourhood and we’ll do all we can to support them with their applications.”

In addition to the £1million made available by the two council funds, the new fund has been boosted by £650,000 from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund – Communities and Place.

The final details will be considered by councillors at the council’s forthcoming Leadership Board and the application process is expected to open in October 2023.