New £1m Scottish community minibus fund and increased CTA cash

A new £1m community minibus fund has been announced by Scottish Transport Minister, Keith Brown. Described as a ‘one-off’ for this financial year, the fund is intended to help CT operators buy new vehicles to expand their services or replace older vehicles. The fund will be jointly administered by the Community Transport Association (CTA) and the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO). Keith Brown said, ‘I recognise that help is needed in the short term and this will provide much needed financial assistance to operators who, as part of the Third Sector, run vital services for remote communities and vulnerable and disadvantaged groups. It will also help mitigate the impact of welfare reform. This is a one-off fund for now, but I expect it to provide valuable insights into the sector’s needs which we can use to develop future support as finances permit. The Scottish Government is committed to making sure communities across Scotland receive the services and support they need and this announcement reaffirms that commitment.’

CTA’s Director for Scotland, John MacDonald, said, ‘The Scottish Government’s investment will enable voluntary and community organisations throughout Scotland to sustain and grow their vital services for people who cannot access mainstream transport services. This initiative was one of the main recommendations from the Scottish Parliament’s Inquiry into Community Transport and we are delighted that the Government has responded in such a positive manner.’

Keith Brown, has also announced that Transport Scotland is doubling its funding for the Community Transport Association. CTA currently receives £45,000 per annum, but that will rise to £90,000 per annum. Keith Brown said, ‘Many people rely on community transport to go about their everyday lives, from appointments with the doctor to shopping trips, so I am very pleased to outline this additional funding today. The increase will allow the Community Transport Association to enhance and expand its valuable work in Scotland. This will be particularly important to its engagement with people in rural areas and disadvantaged groups. The Scottish Government looks forward to continuing to work with the CTA and making sure communities across Scotland receive the services and support they need.’



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