Launch Recite Me assistive technology myaccountMyAccount login image

Renewable Energy Fund Grants

Rural Facilities Sustainability Fund

The Rural Facilities Sustainability Fund is a programme set up within the REF to support rural communities through change in community leisure and facility provision, initially for 3 years from  April 2024 - March 2026, with a review after 3 years.

It is open to constituted and non-constituted organisations (the later dependent on local Councillor support). 

A grant is available subject to available funds being available.

The programme is open to support retaining any community facility at clear risk of or identified for closure, for example, South Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture sports centre, halls, church halls, bowling green or other community facility. Evidence of the imminent closure potential will be required such as minutes of meetings.

The Rural Facilities Sustainability Fund programme can provide revenue support for up to a maximum of 36 months. The programmes aim is to allow communities time to develop capacity and consider alternative operational and funding arrangements for the facility.

An application can include costs for structural surveys, community consultation business plans and small scale, urgent repairs. Alternatively, as timing is a priority a complimentary application for these costs can be submitted separately to the REF.   

Timescales and steps

The fund opens in February 2024.

Expressions of interest can be submitted from a group linked to a property at risk.

If the facility is on a closure list or considered at immediate risk of closure the enquiry will be moved to application stage within 1 week.

If a SLLC property, the deficit costs will be provided from SLLC to the group. Other evidence of deficit costs would be required for other properties.

The group can submit the application with these costs and any other rational.

It is intended that the application will be “light touch” and is primarily allowing the community time to retain the facility and consider other operating and financial models.

For additional costs below £5k, such as structural surveys, a single quote may be accepted.

The quarterly deadlines and requirement for committee approval for main grants seeking funding above £20k remain. For small grants below £20k, assessment and decision will be taken within 4 weeks and often quicker.

Staged and multiple grant applications for the same facility can be considered providing there is no duplicate funding and the revenue funding from the Rural Facilities Sustainability Fund programme does not exceed 36 months.