MORE money is being made available to help some of Scotland’s town centres recover from the coronavirus crisis.

The Scottish Government has released a further £700,000 to help Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) support their communities over the next six months through a second round of the Covid-19 Business Improvement Districts Resilience Fund, with applications open from today.

The money comes on top of a first round of £1 million of grant funding released to support BIDs in March. This has been used to help BIDs and surrounding businesses with a range of initiatives to help local economies bounce back from the pandemic.

The new money will allow BIDs to continue working with their members to develop innovative ways of trading to meet the needs of their communities and customers through all phases of the route map out of lockdown, while also supporting initiatives to help the most vulnerable.

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Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell said: “I am pleased that the £1m Business Improvement Districts Resilience Fund and the first part of the £2m Towns and BIDs Resilience and Recovery Fund are already helping drive recovery of businesses, towns and communities.

“This is through renewal projects including digital markets and virtual high streets, online local jobs and volunteering platforms, open for business guides and maps, and communication campaigns around the Love Local campaign message.”

There are nearly 40 active BIDs in Scotland, which provide a mechanism for local businesses to work together with other public and private sector partners to improve local economies and communities.

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Phil Prentice, chief officer of Scotland’s Towns Partnership and programme director of Scotland’s Improvement Districts, said: “Scotland’s BIDs are playing a critical role in helping our communities fight back from the consequences of Covid-19.

“The innovation and creativity they have shown and support they have given their businesses is proving vital in helping the local economies in our towns and cities, supporting the communities around them. This second wave of funding will allow that important work to continue and develop at pace.”

BIDs are collaborative projects whereby local businesses vote to establish a company to deliver joint economic and business development initiatives from a shared fund.

Businesses agree to pay an additional levy on top of their business rates to pay for projects that will improve the local economy and business outcomes.

To apply, improvement districts can visit