Kids cash in on crime money

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Cash seized from criminals has paid for £1.7 million of projects in Falkirk and West Lothian districts, helping the most deprived areas.

Cash seized from criminals has paid for £1.7 million of projects in Falkirk and West Lothian districts, helping the most deprived areas.

A total of £851,198 has been spent in West Lothian with a further £868,270 in Falkirk from the Scottish Government’s Cashback for Communities scheme since it began in 2008.

The policy invests money confiscated from the proceeds of crime into good causes and money is distributed to local projects through national organisations such as the Scottish Football Association (SFA), Youth Link, Boxing Scotland and Creative Scotland.

Among the projects in Linlithgow are the Linlithgow Young People Project with Youthlink Scotland; Basketball Scotland work in Bridgend; Bank of Scotland Midnight Leagues for footballers at Linlithgow’s Xcite sports centre; youth rugby coaching courses at Linlithgow Academy and primary schools; grants for Scout groups.

In Bo’ness projects are cash for youngsters to deliver Easter holiday provision for activities through the Duke of Edinburgh Award; money to set up a committee for a Youth Summit for expeditions; rugby at Bo’ness schools; youth engagement programme with Falkik Community Trust at schools and community centres; employment opportunities with The Prince’s Trust Development Awards.

A further £17 million of funding has now been announced by the government with applications for grants to begin again early in the summer.

Justice Secretary and Falkirk West MSP Michael Matheson said: “I am extremely pleased to be able to announce a further £17 million of funding for the unique CashBack for Communities programme.

“This substantial amount will go a long way to changing the lives of our young people and it seems only fitting that this money seized from the criminals who seek to peddle misery in some of our most disadvantaged communities is reinvested back in to those same areas.

“We have made it clear that we want Scotland to be the best place to grow up and part of achieving that goal is making sure all of our young people have the best possible start in life.

“That is why this government created the CashBack for Communities programme and why we continue to support the valuable work it does.”