Councils can now apply for their share of £4.5 million to support the provision of after school and holiday clubs for Scotland’s most disadvantaged communities.

The funding will help improve both indoor and outdoor spaces in the school estate, with schools also encouraged to consider wider community needs.

This comes on the back of the new First Minister making challenging poverty his number one priority in government.

The Scottish Government will provide a £4.5m recurring Capital Fund, managed and administered by Scottish Futures Trust, to deliver improvements to the school estate that will support the provision of before and after school and holiday clubs within Scotland’s most disadvantaged communities. The intention is that the fund will be limited to the school estate (both indoor and outdoor spaces) for year one, but schools will be encouraged to consider wider community needs and spaces where children want to be after school or during the holidays, particularly where links or partnerships already exist.

Commenting on this announcement, the SNP MSP for Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse, Christina McKelvie, said:

“I welcome this announcement from the Scottish Government. It is clear that Humza Yousaf, our new First Minister, is committed beyond doubt to challenging poverty across Scotland.

“In his first weeks in office, Humza has convened an anti-poverty summit which brough together charities, academics, politicians across all parties, and those with lived experience of poverty, who all contributed to discussions around the ways in which we can eradicate poverty here in Scotland.

“With this announcement, I am encouraged that my constituents will have the opportunity to benefit from the extensive opportunities that will come from this scheme. Not only will it help with the cost of childcare for families that are suffering from the Tory-amplified cost of living crisis, but it will also promote benefits for the wider community.

“I would urge South Lanarkshire Council to swiftly utilise this for the sake of our constituents. This may be a very, very small consolations for families and children across South Lanarkshire in the face of the reprehensible increases to sports clubs’ costs that the Labour administration has heralded in and that have been widely condemned by the public.”