COMMUNITY groups in Moray have until the end of January to bid for cash to replace older vehicles.
The Community Transport Vehicle Fund has a £1 million pot available.
The one-off fund for this financial year is aimed at helping community transport operators replace older vehicles or expand their services.
Transport Minister Keith Brown said: "I’m really encouraged by the amount of interest that’s already been shown in the fund, but there is still time for more operators to get their applications in.
"One of the biggest concerns for operators is financing new vehicles, so this is a great opportunity for them to apply for help in the short term.
"This fund will also have benefits in the longer term by giving us valuable insights into the sector’s needs which we can use to develop future support as finances permit.
"The Scottish Government is committed to helping the community transport sector provide these vital services for vulnerable and disadvantaged groups, as well as remote communities around the country."
The fund is being jointly administered by the Community Transport Association (CTA) and the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO).
John MacDonald, the CTA’s Director for Scotland, said: "Since the Fund opened we have been inundated with enquiries from a wide variety of community and voluntary organisations who are involved in providing transport. "The response so far shows that this funding initiative from the Scottish Government has been well targeted. It is addressing an area of real need and we are confident that it will have a significant impact in many communities throughout Scotland."
John Downie, Director of Public Affairs for the SCVO, said: "We’re seeing great interest from community groups across Scotland which want to keep their vital services open for the people who rely on them to go to medical appointments and keep involved in their communities.
"With just a few weeks left until the application process closes, we’re urging community and voluntary organisations to get in touch to make sure they don’t miss out on a chance to benefit from this one-off fund."
Full details of how to apply for funding can be found online at www.scvo.org.uk/scvo-news/community-transport-vehicle-fund/