Scottish credit union fund launched

A fund to help credit unions in Scotland grow and weather the global economic downturn was launched yesterday by the Scottish Government.

Grants of up to £25,000 will be offered to help credit unions - financial co-operatives owned and controlled by their members - build capacity and become more sustainable.

The £250,000 fund for credit unions is spread over three years and will be delivered as part of the new Third Sector Enterprise Fund.

Patrick Harvie, a Green MSP who worked with the Scottish Government to develop the new fund, said: ³In these unstable economic times, with other sources of borrowing harder than ever to obtain, the credit union movement offers a refreshing, human scale alternative source of finance."

It is estimated that there are around 120 credit unions in Scotland, with more than 200,000 members.

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