NEW devolution-busting funding has been announced for projects across Scotland – with the Scottish Government thought to have no say in how the £8 million pot is spent.

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has announced it will give money to 17 projects across Scotland through its community ownership fund.

Levelling Up funding was intended to replace EU funds after Brexit – but is politically controversial because decisions are made in London, bypassing the Scottish Government.

The 117-year-old King’s Theatre in Edinburgh (below) has received the top award of £2m to create a new community hub and improve its disability access.

The National: An artist's impression issued by Capital Theatres of how The King's Theatre will look following a redevelopmentAn artist's impression issued by Capital Theatres of how The King's Theatre will look following a redevelopment (Image: PA)

The Old Clyne School in Brora, in Sutherland, will receive £2m to be turned into a community museum.

Other projects in Aberdeenshire, Glasgow, Moray, Falkirk, Orkney and Angus are among those to be funded.

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But the Scottish Government hit out following the announcement, saying it was again excluded from the decision-making process.

A spokesperson said: “While the Scottish Government welcomes all extra funding for Scotland, it would be much better if provided to the Scottish Government via the Barnett formula in the normal manner.

“It is extremely disappointing that the Scottish Government continues to be excluded from the decision-making process, with limited ability to influence how the investment could be prioritised to complement its ongoing work.

“Ministers will nevertheless work with the UK Government and local authorities to ensure the impact of this investment can be properly realised.”

The National: Chris McEleny

Chris McEleny (above), the general secretary of the Alba Party, said: “We now have a situation that the UK Government will bypass devolution because it’s a very hard sell to complain about Scottish projects getting more cash.

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“But the reality is that Scotland’s resources should be left to the people of Scotland to spend based on our priorities – not those of London.

“It’s time for the Scottish Government to get serious on independence – that’s the only way we can stop the UK Government from doing what they want when it comes to Scotland’s future.”

Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove said: “The community ownership fund is about restoring pride in the places people call home and I’m delighted to be funding these projects.”

Tory peer Malcolm Offord, a junior Scotland Office minister, added: “In total, we are directly investing more than £2.7 billion in hundreds of projects across Scotland as we help grow our economy and level up the country."