Salmond Urges Youth Groups To Claim Share Of Recovered Crime Cash

>> 19 July 2010

Gordon MSP Alex Salmond has encouraged local youth projects to apply for funding from a £2.5 million pot of cash, which has been gathered by Police through confiscating the proceeds of crime.

His call followed the news that Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill had opened a fourth round of funding for youth projects from the 'CashBack for Communities' scheme.

The scheme, to be administered by YouthLink Scotland, the national youth work agency, has been allocated £2.5 million to distribute over the next two years to local youth projects. This will be in the form of grants up to £30,000, although larger grants may be made available at the discretion of the panels responsible for assessing applications.

The cash is the first portion of £6.5 million recovered earlier this year from a Russian money launderer with dealings in Scotland, which is now being invested directly back into local communities to provide free diversionary activities for young people. Some £136,391 in total is to be made available for groups in Aberdeenshire.

Across Scotland, 509 projects have so far benefited from CashBack for Communities funding through YouthLink Scotland.

Speaking at the launch, Mr MacAskill said:

"Earlier this year, I was pleased to announce that £6.5 million of ‘dirty money’ had been seized from a Russian criminal and today we are now set to see some of that money reinvested into worthy community causes.

"By supporting projects such as the ones identified by YouthLink Scotland, we are showing our young people that there is much more to life than offending or taking drink or drugs.

“The benefits to the young people are clear - and the benefits from these projects are now being felt in the wider community. To date, £19.5 million has been invested in a range of free activities for young people and every penny of that is money well spent”.

Mr Salmond added:

"CashBack for Communities delivers on our ambitions for young people but it also benefits the wider community, whether that's getting kids off street corners, getting them involved in things like volunteering or offering them the chance to give something back to their communities.

“There’s nearly £140,000 available for youth projects in Aberdeenshire from this funding round, and I’d like to see as many Gordon-based groups benefiting as possible. For that reason, I’d urge any groups that might be eligible for support to get their applications in as quickly as possible."

Applications will be assessed by 32 panels across Scotland consisting of representatives from local authorities; the voluntary sector; and trained young people. Regional surgeries will also be scheduled to allow applicants to improve their bids.

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