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04 March 2024

New Funding Announced to Tackle Underage Drinking in Scotland

New Funding Announced to Tackle Underage Drinking in Scotland
A new targeted intervention worth £300,000 has been announced by the SWA and Community Alcohol Partnerships.

The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) has announced a new partnership with Community Alcohol Partnerships (CAP), in a targeted initiative aimed at tackling underage drinking in key areas across Scotland. The SWA will provide £300,000 of funding over the next three years, funded via its Scotch Whisky Action Fund.

Community Alcohol Partnerships are tailored to address local requirements, with a focus on three key pillars of activity to support an overall reduction in alcohol harm. These include the provision of positive activity for children and young people; creating retail signage and conducting training to prevent underage sales and proxy purchase; and providing alcohol education in schools and for parents.

This new SWA funding will help establish CAPs in areas of high harm that have been identified throughout Scotland. The results of future work in these areas will be regularly monitored, evaluated, and reported on.

CAP has a robust evaluation framework and proven track record with consistent evidence of significant impact. To date, more than 250 CAPs have been established across the UK. Evaluation shows that they achieved an average of 62% reduction in regular drinking among 13-16 year olds; a 42% reduction in youth alcohol-related anti-social behaviour; and 77% of reductions in proxy purchases.

Mark Kent, Chief Executive of the SWA said: “The Scotch Whisky industry is committed to promoting safe, responsible consumption of alcohol, and tackling underage drinking. Our new partnership with Community Alcohol Partnerships will help to support delivery of this targeted intervention, marking an important and valuable development in the industry’s wider commitment to tackling alcohol harm.

“Our work with CAP will ensure that the funding provided by the industry is directed in the best and most effective way to address underage drinking in Scotland. We look forward to collaborating with the team at CAP and seeing the results of our new partnership.”

Derek Lewis, Chair of Community Alcohol Partnerships said:  “Although alcohol consumption by children has declined for many years, more recent data has shown an increase and Scotland still has one of the highest rates of alcohol harm among children and young people internationally.  The existing Scottish CAPs have already demonstrated real success in reducing these harms by helping local communities introduce action plans tailored to their own needs.  We aim to accelerate the establishment of CAPs in other high harm areas of Scotland and so help our children grow up with well-informed and responsible attitudes to alcohol.  We welcome the support and financial commitment of the SWA and its members as we pursue this ambition.”

More information

Learn more about the Scotch Whisky Association and what we do here

The SWA and its members are committed promoting responsible drinking and tackling harmful consumption. Learn more about the Scotch Whisky Action Fund here.

CAP is a community interest company (CiC) which exists in order to promote and support local partnerships to reduce alcohol harm in children and young people, improve their health and well-being and enhance their communities. CAP provides an evidence-led approach using responsible retail strategies, provision of positive activities and alcohol education (including for parents) that has been shown to reduce harms linked to underage drinking across the UK.

Details of CAPs impact and independent evaluations can be found here.