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Making Advice Work (MAW) programme

Scottish Legal Aid Board Grant Funding Programme 2013 – 2015

The Scottish Legal Aid Board was asked by the Scottish Government and the Money Advice Service to run a new grant funding programme. The programme focusses on improving access to advice for people in Scotland with a view to promoting achievement of particular priority outcomes.
The grant funding powers within the Legal Aid (Sc) Act required SLAB to prepare plans to be approved by Scottish Ministers for the purpose of giving grants. You can read the plan for this grant funding programme which gives some further details about the funding streams.
How much funding is there?
SLAB has an approved upper limit of expenditure of £7.45m by way of grants for this programme, running since October 2013. 
  • £5.1 million of funding is being made available the Scottish Government
  • £2.35 million of funding is being made available by the Money Advice Service
There are three main funding streams:

The MAW launch press release gives details of the funding split and includes a list of the projects which have finalised their agreements for funding through the programme. This list will be updated as agreements are finalised.

On 3rd January 2014, the Scottish Government announced that a further £280,000 is being made available to support a small number of additional shortlisted projects under Stream 3 of the programme.

What is the funding for?
The Scottish Government and Money Advice Service agreed that SLAB will focus on specific priorities for funding, and there are three main funding streams. View the press release giving details about the programme.

Stream 1 – community-wide advice

Stream 1 of the programme is designed to focus funding on projects that can provide advice, information and representation for people across a geographic area, with a focus on help to resolve benefit and complex debt problems and to provide targeted assistance to help people successfully make the transition to the new benefits system.

Organisations in Stream 1 are well placed to directly deliver the advice provision within the project remit; including local authority advice providers, third sector organisations, and law centres. We particularly welcomed partnership applications which encourage and embed co-ordinated provision of advice and where organisations play to their respective strengths.

There was a suggested maximum grant of around £200,000 for an 18-month period although higher awards would be considered, particularly for nation-wide projects. There was a maximum of around £3.95m available under Stream 1. 

Stream 2 – helping tenants of social landlords

Stream 2 of the programme focuses specifically on advice for tenants of social landlords. Projects aim to provide advice, information and/or representation for social tenants dealing with the impact of changes to the benefit system, particularly those changes which are likely to impact on their ability to manage their housing costs or to sustain their tenancies.

Under Stream 2, proposals must be led by social landlords, either as the organisation delivering the project, or as the lead organisation in partnership with an advice provider. We particularly welcomed partnership applications, including partnership projects which would deliver help to tenants of more than one social landlord.

There was a suggested maximum grant of around £150,000 for an 18-month period although higher awards would be considered in some cases, e.g. for projects with national or broad geographic coverage. There was a maximum of £2.5m available for projects under Stream 2.

Stream 3 – thematic stream

Stream 3 aims to tackle barriers in accessing advice or to test new ways of resolving problems related to debt, financial management and social welfare law for one of the following priority groups:

There are 72 services funded by the Making Advice Work Programme.

Evaluation of Streams 1 and 2 of the MAW programme

SLAB published the evaluation report and issued a news release in January 2015. The evaluation report demonstrates the positive impact being achieved by projects funded under Steams 1 and 2 of the MAW programme. Stream 3 will be subject to a seperate evaluation.

If you have any questions about the Making Advice Work programme, please contact us by email or by telephone:

Policy and Development
0131 240 1883


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