The SWAs Scotch Whisky Action Fund will make GBP100,000 available each year from 2014 to 2018 in Scotland

The SWA's Scotch Whisky Action Fund will make GBP100,000 available each year from 2014 to 2018 in Scotland

Industry group the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) is investing GBP500,000 (US$820,000) in a new fund to tackle alcohol-related harm in Scotland.

The Scotch Whisky Action Fund will make GBP100,000 available each year from 2014 to 2018 to projects from charities and other organisations working to reduce alcohol-related misuse in Scotland. The aim of the fund, which will be managed by independent charity Foundation Scotland, is to support and develop projects tackling harm among under-18s, families affected by the issue and communities impacted by irresponsible drinking.

Its formation follows research commissioned by the SWA, which revealed that more work and funding was needed to develop existing initiatives and support new programmes in each of these three areas.

Under the terms of the fund, new projects can seek an award of up to GBP10,000, while existing initiatives with a proven track record can apply for up to GBP25,000.

“Alcohol is part of Scottish life and brings a range of benefits to Scotland and its economy,” said Gavin Hewitt, SWA chief executive. “But, we recognise there is a problem with alcohol misuse that has to be tackled, and we are committed to taking a central role to address misuse in this drive.”

The first deadline for applications is 31 March, and organisations interested in finding out more should visit the Foundation Scotland website here.

Hewitt, who joined the SWA in October 2003, will step down as chief executive at the end of this month, to be replaced by David Frost, the director for Europe, trade & international affairs at the Department of Business, Innovation & Skills.