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Mon June 21 2021

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Scotland seeks to improve Gypsy/Traveller accommodation

7 Jun The Scottish government has set up a £20m fund aimed at developing a model for better accommodation for Gypsy/Traveller communities.

Equalities minister Christina McKelvie
Equalities minister Christina McKelvie

Local authorities can now apply to the new fund, which is aimed at building experience and skills in Gypsy/Traveller site development by focusing on projects that establish examples of model sites.

Equalities minister Christina McKelvie said: “It is vital that we improve the accommodation and sites for the Gypsy/Traveller community. This £20 million funding will be focused initially on the development of demonstration projects to establish model sites, and builds on £2 million funding provided in 2020-21 for immediate improvements to all sites.

“We are working in partnership with members of the Gypsy/Traveller community and local authorities to develop a design guide for sites. It will set the standard for new accommodation and ensure our Housing 2040 principles, such as accessibility and energy efficiency, are factored in to planning.”

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Improving accommodation and sites is a part of Scotland’s first long-term national housing strategy, as well as part of the Gypsy/Traveller Action Plan set up jointly by the Scottish government and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA).

Councillor Kelly Parry, COSLA’s community wellbeing spokesperson, said: “The creation of a new funding programme over the next five years for Gypsy/Traveller accommodation is a fantastic step forward for our communities. This money will help to build homes that are fit for the future and is going to show what is possible in the design of modern sites.

“Combined with local investment from councils, the fund will make a meaningful difference to the quality of accommodation that is available and the initial projects will blaze the trail for more developments over time.” 

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