UP and down the country, local Yes groups are turning to the Scottish Independence Foundation (SIF) for funding for their activities.

SIF was set up specifically to fund grassroots independence campaigning and its latest round of grants shows the breadth of its coverage across the country.

The independence movement in the South West was greatly strengthened when the Dumfries and Galloway English Scots for Yes and Yes Wigtownshire were successful in their recent applications for funding from SIF.

Yes Wigtownshire activist, Colin Lawrie, said: “We are delighted with this funding from SIF. We have remained active since the 2014 referendum but have pretty much worked on a shoestring. We were in the process of putting the group on a much more formal footing and we made this application as part of that process. Unfortunately, this was just before the Covid lockdown which has meant there has been a bit of a hiatus.

“We are really keen to get things moving again but will, along with the rest of the Yes movement, be building support for independence and preparing for the Indyref2 campaign which is coming soon”.

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Also reacting to the award, Richard Arkless, who lives locally, was active in the independence movement throughout the first referendum campaign and served for the area as the MP for the area between 2015-17. He said: “ Public opinion has turned in our favour and Yes Wigtownshire is ready for independence again. This support means that when that time comes, we will be equipped. It allows us to plan our campaign. Thank you SIF.”

A similar reaction was given by Dumfries and Galloway English Scots for Yes chairman, John Schofield, who stated: “This grant is a lifeline to organisations like ourselves and we are now able to plan our campaign with confidence over the next year and to bring the message to Dumfries and Galloway and beyond.”

At the other end of the country Aye2Aye Lochaber is also celebrating the success of its application for funding. Responding to the award, treasurer Gordon Cuthbertson said: “This grant is a huge boost that will enable the local Yes Hub located in Fort William High Street to be kept in operation for the foreseeable future. It will also enable the branch to continue winter campaign activities and enhance their online presence.

Commenting on the awards SIF vice-convener, John Hunter-Paterson, said: “We urge individuals and organisations that are in need of financial support for any project or undertaking that will advance the independence cause to submit an application for consideration as soon as possible.” Find out more and donate at sif.scot.