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SWA helps to tackle alcohol misuse

Published:  27 February, 2017

The Scotch Whisky Association is hoping to help tackle alcohol misuse by inviting related projects in Scotland to apply for grants from its Action Fund.

The latest push by the fund, set up in 2013 by the SWA to provide awards of £100,000 in total each year until 2018 to initiatives addressing alcohol misuse, was launched today in a bid to attract applications from innovative or pilot initiatives that test new approaches, and from existing projects that demonstrate success in reducing harm.

The industry body was hoping to encourage a wide range of initiatives to apply for support in 2017, said acting ceo Julie Hesketh-Laird.

"Our goal is to support projects across Scotland that help prevent and reduce misuse among young people, communities, and families by supporting initiatives that deliver targeted inventions to tackle alcohol related harm."

Last year, seven local initiatives were selected by an awards panel to receive funding, including the Hibernian Community Foundation in Edinburgh, which delivers preventative alcohol education to primary school pupils, and youth counseling charity the Orkney Alcohol Counselling and Advisory Service.

To date, 22 awards have been granted through the fund, which forms part of SWA's commitment to promote responsible drinking. It is managed by independent charity Foundation Scotland and is chaired by Dame Joan Stringer.

Ceo Giles Ruck said the charity expected to generate "a lot of interest" this year from "this vital funding".

The closing date for applications is 30 June 2017.

Earlier this month it was revealed exports of Scotch whisky, which returned to growth for the first time in three years in 2016, were set for another boost on the back of rising demand in the US in the wake of the Brexit vote and the subsequent slump of the pound.

In 2016, 337.3 million litres were shipped worldwide, worth £3.98bn. This was a rise of 3.3% in value and 4.1% in volume compared to 2015, according to HMRC released in mid-February.