Funding setback for Cumbernauld charity Now You’re Talking
“This has really slowed us down,” he said. “We spent a lot of time and money on our application, and we were relying on that money as we expected to get help.”
Now You’re Talking had applied for a grant from the Enterprise Growth Fund, which was set up to help social enterprise organisations all over Scotland. David says the guidelines for applications are confusing and the money is unequally distributed. “There was a lot of money given to organisations which recycle tins, clothing or furniture. We ‘recycle’ people who have broken down and help them find work or education.”
David has recruited an ally in MSP Margaret Mitchell, who represents the Scottish Conservatives in Central Scotland. She recently challenged enterprise minister Fergus Ewing over this funding decision during a recent Parliamentary debate.
She said: “There was a huge demand for the Enterprise Growth Fund and I welcome the grants that have been awarded to the successful applicants. However, there are serious concerns about the application process that need to be addressed.
“It is important that all applicants are given the same chance of receiving grants yet the conflicting information regarding the guidelines set out by the Scottish Government make this nearly impossible to achieve. This muddies the waters of a process that should be made as clear and easy as possible.”
The Scottish Government increased the Enterprise Growth Fund to £6m last December, and awarded grants to 64 Scottish organisations.