A NEW £1 million fund has been launched to help hundreds of projects promote town centres and online businesses and encourage people to spend locally.

Grants of between £500 and £5000 will be given out as part of the Scotland Loves Local scheme, which aims to enable visitors and residents to safely shop, eat and relax within communities.

The funds can be used for measures such as protective screens, physical distancing markers, hand sanitising equipment and PPE.

Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell said: “We know money spent locally is more likely to stay in the local economy and support local jobs.

“The Scotland Loves Local campaign encourages people to think how they can safely support this.

“This fund will help initiatives supporting businesses, such as projects to encourage safe shopping, business and leisure opportunities, promoting and advertising local providers of online shopping or enhancing visitor appeal.”

Phil Prentice, chief officer of Scotland’s Towns Partnership, which will administer the grants, said: “Our campaign is highlighting that money spent locally stays local for longer.”