PEOPLE in the north of Sutherland will soon benefit from a second community investment fund associated with SSE’s Strathy North wind farm – set to open for bids tomorrow.
Grants totalling £170,000 from the joint fund will be made annually over the 25 year lifetime of the wind farm to local charity and not-for-profit organisations within the host community council areas of Strathy & Armadale; Melvich; and Bettyhill, Strathnaver & Altnaharra.
The 68mw, 33 turbine Strathy North wind farm, located 7km from Strathy village, is currently under construction and due to be operational by late 2015.
The associated joint fund will support activities that promote community spirit and enhance quality of life for local people by bringing them together in a positive and sustainable way.
With an annual value of £170,000, £4.25 million will be invested in local projects in the beneficiary areas over 25 years.
A panel of 12 local representatives – four from each community council area – will make the decisions on grant awards.
Fiona Morrison, SSE’s Community Investment Adviser, said: “The joint Strathy North fund will enhance the support already available to the Strathy & Armadale area while opening up a new avenue of sustainable funding for community groups within the additional Melvich, and Bettyhill, Strathnaver & Altnaharra Community Council areas.
“ It will undoubtedly mean a massive boost for the fragile economy in this area as it will help enable many rural development initiatives. I would encourage anyone interested to attend our funding surgeries to find out more about this exciting opportunity.”
Funding surgeries and information drop-in events will be held as follows:
* Strathy Village Hall - Thursday 2 October, 1.00pm - 3.00pm
- Bettyhill North Coast Leisure Centre - Thursday 2 October, 4.00pm - 8.00pm
- Melvich Hall - Friday 3 October, 4.00pm - 8.00pm
Interested local groups and community members will have an opportunity to learn more about the application process and discuss possible project ideas.
The first deadline for applications is Monday 3 November; forms will be available to download on the SSE community funds webpage from tomorrow. Decisions on grant awards will be made by the local panel in mid December.