Highlands and Islands Labour MSP, David Stewart, who has been supporting The Elsie Normington Foundation in its bid to secure Scottish Government funding for the building of The Haven centre in Inverness has today pressed Scottish Ministers again to part fund the project.
In July The Elsie Normington Foundation received the fantastic news that they had secured a £1.1m grant from the Big Lottery Community Fund as well as planning permission being granted for the building of the centre.
The Big Lottery grant took the organisers to half way to securing the total amount needed, £4m, and the Labour MSP contacted the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy, the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Minister for Children and Young people in a bid to secure a commitment from the Scottish Government to provide some, or all, of the remaining funding needed.
David Stewart said “While I did receive a response from the Minister for Children and Young People, Maree Todd, who appears largely supportive of the project, it was not favourable in terms of awarding funding.
“The Minister advised that it remains the statutory responsibility of local authorities to assess and understand need in their area and to develop services which meet local requirements. She advised that the Scottish Government would not usually provide funding for a local project like the Haven Centre but in exceptional circumstances, they would consider evidence which did present a strong case for national funding for local projects.”
Mr Stewart continued “I know the Highland community believe there is a very strong case for supporting this project due to the transformation it will provide to the lives of children and young adults with complex needs throughout the Highlands, let alone the construction jobs it will provide for one year and the social care jobs that will be created thereafter and I am therefore trying again to see if either Fergus Ewing or Kate Forbes will fund this from their budgets.”