Scotch Whisky Action Fund 
Tackling Alcohol Related Harm



The Scotch Whisky industry is and has been involved for many years in a range of initiatives to promote responsible attitudes to alcohol and tackle alcohol-related harm. The establishment of this fund by the Scotch Whisky Association is a further development of that commitment.

Twenty two local initiatives fighting alcohol misuse in Scotland have been awarded funding from the Scotch Whisky Action Fund since the £500,000 fund was set up in December 2013. A full list of the awards made in 2018 can be found here  with details of the projects supported in previous years available here

Read the fund profile


To invest in groups and organisations that wish to reduce the impact of alcohol-related harm in Scotland's communities.

What do we mean by alcohol-related harm?

Alcohol when consumed responsibly forms an integral part of Scottish life and brings a range of benefits to Scotland and its economy. However, the misuse of alcohol through excessive or inappropriate consumption can have implications for health and a range of social problems, including anti-social behaviour, accidents, violence, family break-down, problems with money and work, which can impact individuals, families and communities. 

We are looking to support and develop a range of projects/initiatives which deliver targeted interventions designed to tackle alcohol-related harms across three themes: 

  • Young people (aged under 18)

  • Families

  • Communities

Research commissioned by the Scotch Whisky Association suggests that there are gaps in provision across each of these themes and that the range of interventions and good practice are not fully developed.

The Fund would particularly welcome applications from new/innovative or pilot initiatives which aim to test new approaches within these themes and which will offer learning that others can use. Applications from existing projects which can demonstrate success in reducing harm are also welcome. 


  • Preventative projects that aim to reduce the alcohol-related harm within communities, families, and young people aged 18 and under.

  • Projects that aim to educate people and communities about the dangers and consequences of mis-using alcohol.

  • The development of new, innovative projects designed to reduce alcohol-related harms.

  • Pilot projects that will test out new initiatives and ideas designed to promote responsible attitudes to alcohol consumption and prevent alcohol-misuse.

  • Projects that promote alternative leisure and lifestyle choices for adults and young people to prevent alcohol-misuse.

What can you apply for?

  • Salary costs for new posts. As a general rule, the Fund cannot support existing salary costs or replace funding for existing posts where the funding has come to an end although there are some exceptions to this as follows: 

    Where the applicant organisation has previously held an award from the Fund to support a specific postholder then these existing costs can be considered.
    Where the applicant organisation is seeking to expand or develop the role and remit of an existing postholder e.g. through increasing the number of hours worked each week then these existing costs can be considered.
    Note that there must be clear evidence that there is a developmental aspect to any project seeking support for existing salary costs.
  • Running costs and venue hire for the expansion or development of services and activities.

  • Sessional worker costs related to new services and activities.

  • Volunteer expenses.

  • Small items of equipment where these are needed to expand or develop services and activities.

  • Miscellaneous start-up costs.


Categories of Award

Awards of up to £25,000 for a one year period can be made through this Fund. There are two categories of award as follows:

Seedcorn Funding Awards made under this category could fund new initiatives and test out innovative approaches designed to reduce alcohol-related harm. Awards could also be used to fund existing smaller scale projects that are seeking to expand or develop their services. You must tell us how you plan to evaluate your project if seeking an award under this category. Please note that whilst you can apply for up to £25,000 under this strand, an award of this level would only be granted in exceptional circumstances. In practice, we would expect to make awards in the region of £10,000 for new or innovative projects.

Growth and Development Awards made under this category could fund projects that are seeking to consolidate and build on emerging, successful practice in relation to the reduction of alcohol-related harm. You must be able to provide evidence of any evaluation of your work to date. We will look for evidence that the project is needed and that the approach taken has proven to be effective.




  • Applications from individuals

  • Applications for treatment, support or recovery programmes

  • Activities outwith Scotland

  • Political parties or groups and campaigning organisations

  • The promotion of religious beliefs

  • Activities that are understood to be a statutory responsibility and/or seek to replace statutory sources of funding

  • Pre-existing costs that your organisation incurs as a result of your day to day activities.


The deadline for applications has now passed.  The fund will re-open in 2019


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