Covid recovery funding approach

Covid recovery funding will be used to help struggling businesses and people on low incomes in East Renfrewshire.
East Renfrewshire is expecting to receive around £1.5mEast Renfrewshire is expecting to receive around £1.5m
East Renfrewshire is expecting to receive around £1.5m

Councillors have agreed a three-tiered approach to distributing the area’s share of an £80m recovery pot for councils, provided by the Scottish Government.

The final allocation has yet to be confirmed but East Renfrewshire is expecting to receive around £1.5m.

It will be used to support businesses in sectors with lower-paid staff, aiming to reduce the impact of covid, including help to increase fair work practices, such as Real Living Wage accreditation.

There will also be help for businesses adversely affected by the pandemic, including initiatives to stimulate economic activity, like ‘shop local’ campaigns. Low-income households could receive shopping vouchers as well advice around “income maximisation and fuel poverty”.

East Renfrewshire’s cabinet has also agreed to use some of the money to extend two short-term jobs, a covid compliance officer and a fuel poverty officer.

Council leader Tony Buchanan said: “We know the difficulties, not just of the pandemic, and they are in many ways continuing to give us problems, but the ongoing crisis in terms of cost of living which I think is going to hit people significantly hard over the next few weeks and months.

“We know that we are already seeing the impact of that. It is going to be a very challenging time and being able to make sure that we get the funding out to those most in need is going to be vital at this time.”

Council officials have suggested East Renfrewshire could receive £1.48m. A report to the cabinet stated: “The intent of this funding is to support local economic recovery and cost of living impacts on low-income households.

“The funding is flexible and designed to empower local authorities to utilise funding where they consider this necessary or justified based on local circumstances.”

The council believes the covid compliance officer and fuel poverty officer will be required beyond the current post end dates. Both jobs have been extended until March 2023 at a combined cost of £75,000.

An update will be brought to the cabinet once the allocation has been confirmed.