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About us

CashBack for Communities is a Scottish Government programme which takes funds recovered from the proceeds of crime and invests them into free activities and programmes for young people across Scotland.

The current projects range from diversionary sporting activity to long-term and potentially life-changing intervention projects, which aim to turn an individual’s life around and provide them with the opportunity of a positive destination such as employment, education or volunteering. 

  • CashBack supports all 32 Local Authorities across Scotland.  
  • Sporting and recreational activities / culture / mentoring and employability / community projects are supported.  
  • CashBack has delivered nearly 1.8 million activities and opportunities for young people. 
  • Phase 3 of CashBack runs to end March 2017 and is focused on positive outcomes for young people.

The key principles that underpin all CashBack activities include:

  • Positive – broadly defined as wholesome, healthy, fun, active, engaging
  • Open to all – accessible, well advertised, free of charge, of interest to all ages and to both boys and girls, ethnic minorities, young people with disabilities etc
  • Developmental – changing behaviours and attitudes, developing personal and physical skills
  • Sustainable – providing medium and long term as well as short term benefits; linked to mainstream funding

Since the 2008, the CashBack for Communities Programme has invested and committed over £75 million, recovered from the proceeds of crime,funding community activities and facilities largely, but not exclusively, for young people. 

This investment includes over £24 million on sporting activities and facilities projects; £10 million on grant schemes that support youth work projects across all 32 local authority areas; over £3.5 million on cultural activities involving arts, music and dance.


CashBack activities aim to improve self-confidence and self-esteem for the young people who take part, whilst also supporting those communities worst hit by crime and anti-social behaviour. CashBack for Communities’ goals cut across Government policy areas and support the achievement of a range of outcomes identified in the National Performance Framework. The following are the specific programme objectives:

  • Cashback for Communities will use the proceeds of crime in a positive way to expand young people’s horizons and increase their opportunities to develop their interest and skills in an enjoyable, fulfilling and supportive way.
  • Where possible, activities will be open to all children and young people, however resources will be focussed in those communities suffering most from anti-social behaviour and crime.
  • Activities will seek to increase levels of participation to help divert young people away from ‘at risk’ behaviour, and will aim to increase the positive long term outcomes for those who take part.
CashBack Delivery Team
ODS Consulting have completed the national evaluation of the Cashback programme 2012-2014.  
See the breadth of CashBack projects and the life-changing impact that these opportunities have had on Scotland’s young people.