The Third Sector in Scotland has been involved in the governance and implementation of European Structural Funds since the UK joined the EU. As the national body representing the interests of all Third Sector organisations in Scotland, SCVO secured support from the Scottish Government’s remaining Technical Assistance funds to conduct an analysis of the sector’s historic role and its potential engagement in the 2014-20 programmes.

SCVO recognises that the 2014-2020 Programme will be delivered within a different context than its predecessors. Overall funding will probably be reduced, the socio-economic
environment is more challenging and the role of government-led Strategic Delivery Bodies (SDBs), created in the 2007-2013 Programme, is likely to be expanded, and challenge
funding opportunities removed.

A primary concern was the risk of the sector being relegated to a marginal position and indeed this was reflected in early drafts of government planning documents. SCVO began by establishing a multi-sector stakeholder steering group which met several times culminating in a national conference. SCVO also undertook a national survey of Third Sector organisations involved with the Funds.

SCVO wishes to record its appreciation to all who gave generously of their time throughout this work.

Key areas of analysis and futures thinking included:

  • The impact the sector has had through using Structural Funds to the advantage of target beneficiaries
  • The societal reach and capacity the sector has in assisting those most at risk of social exclusion
  • The role the sector has played in engaging the wider community in the Funds
  • The role the sector has traditionally played in the governance of the Funds
  • How the sector’s role can be maximised in the 2014-2020 Programmes

During this five month collaboration the Scottish Government launched a public consultation on a set of draft proposals on the structure, governance, priorities and delivery arrangements for the 2014–2020 Structural Funds programmes. At the same time three ‘shadow’ Strategic Delivery Partnerships (SDPs) were established around the three proposed sets of funding priorities. Members of these SDPs were asked to put forward project concepts for best use of the Funds.

The recommendations of this report have evolved to reflect the changes in the structures and strategic planning processes and are intended to provide a constructive contribution to
that task.

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