Scottish Borders Area Partnership and Community Fund Review 2019

Closed 26 Sep 2019

Opened 23 Aug 2019

Feedback updated 14 Oct 2020

We asked

We asked you for your views about the Area Partnerships following 18 months of operation. As part of this work we also wanted to know what you think about the new Community Fund.

You said

You responded to our online survey and attended focus group across the Borders. You told us how you feel about the Area Partnerships and the Community Fund.

We did

The Scottish Community Development Centre's report was presented to Councillors at the meeting of Scottish Borders Council on 25 June 2020 and discussed further on 27 August 2020. 

A Review of Local Area Partnerships and the Community Fund in the Scottish Borders

It was decided:

  • to request that each Area Partnership establish, at its next meeting, a mechanism to review the findings of the Scottish Community Development Centre (SCDC) Report on the Community Fund and make recommendations for further public consultation within each locality;
  • to continue to ring fence grants made to Community Councils, Village Halls and Festival Grants within the Community Fund for 2020/21, with payments for Festival Grants only made to cover actual expenditure on public liability and insurance expenditure;
  • to make the changes to the Community Fund highlighted in Section 6 of the report (below), and detailed in Appendix 3 (below) as amended above to remove reference to not being a like for like replacement for Council services which had been withdrawn due to efficiencies or Best Value concerns,to come into effect on 1 September 2020, with a review after one year of operation.

Review of Locality Bid Fund, Communuity Fund and Participatory Budgeting

Appendix 3: Community Fund 2020/2021



Area Partnerships

In November 2017 Scottish Borders Council agreed to replace the existing Locality Committees with Area Partnerships from 1 January 2018.

The Area Partnerships reflect the Council’s statutory duties under the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015 which seeks to improve community engagement and involvement. There is a greater emphasis on community empowerment, participatory budgeting and locality planning not just for the Council but other public agencies/services as well. The main aim of Area Partnerships being to act as a platform to develop priorities and outcomes for that area, to progress the Locality Plan for that area and deliver desired outcomes.

An Area Partnership is in place for each of the five localities in the Borders, these being Berwickshire, Cheviot, Eildon, Teviot & Liddesdale and Tweeddale. The multi-agency/partnership role of the Area Partnerships is reflected in its current membership of Scottish Borders Councillors, Community Councils and other members as decided by each Area Partnership.

Scottish Borders Council's Community Fund

At its meeting on 28 February 2019 the Council decided to establish a Community Fund with decision making on applications devolved to the five Area Partnerships. The Fund consists of grant funding that was previously part of other general grant schemes available to community groups as well as ring fenced community funding, namely:

  • Community Grant Scheme
  • Quality of Life budget

It is proposed that the existing support grant funding for Community Councils, Local Festivals and Federation of Village Halls become part of the new Community Fund in 2020.

Why your views matter

Local Area Partnerships have been operating locally for the past 18 months. The Council and wider Community Planning Partnership are reviewing how these are working on the ground. We want to find out what people think about them and explore how individuals, groups and communities can be more involved in the Area Partnerships process and decision making on the issues that affect their communities.

We have also made changes recently in the way that we fund community organisations and events and we are keen to ensure that people are aware of these changes and can tell us about how the revised approach is working for them.

In order to ensure that the review is completely impartial Scottish Borders Council has commissioned the Scottish Community Development Centre (SCDC) to undertake the consultation work on our behalf.

To help gather the information needed to plan for the future we need you to answer some questions about your experience by completing an  online survey.  The survey will complement focus groups and individuals interviews with local people looking and the overall results of the review, and recommendations from it, will be reported to the meeting of the Scottish Borders Council on 19 December 2019.

Your help matters

We hope that you will now complete the survey below to help us continue to improve local participation and how we support community activity. 

Completing the survey should take between 20- 30 minutes. You can save your progress, leave the survey at any time, and resume at a later date.


  • All Areas


  • Anyone from any background


  • Local Government
  • Community councils
  • Community Planning Partnerships