A £228,000 community benefit fund, linked to SSE’s Strathy North wind farm which is currently under construction, will open for applications from local groups in the Strathy and Armadale area on 11 April.
The one-off lump sum fund has been ‘ring-fenced’ for the benefit of groups and not-for-profit organisations within the Strathy and Armadale Community Council boundary. It is provided by SSE in addition to a wider-reaching annual community fund of £170,000 for the lifetime of the wind farm, to be launched later this year.
The Strathy and Armadale fund will support activities and projects that will make a positive difference to the local area. A panel of 12 community representatives has been established which will be responsible for reviewing applications and determining which projects will receive grant awards.
A funding surgery and information drop-in event will be held in Strathy Village Hall between 4-8pm on Friday 11 April for local groups and community members to drop in and discuss their project ideas and find out more about how to apply. Applications forms will be available at the surgery as well as online at sse.com/community/funds/strathynorth from Friday 11 April.
The first deadline for fund applications is Monday, 12 May, and decisions on grant awards will be made by the local panel in early June.
In addition to this one-off, ring-fenced fund, the annual joint fund for the three community council areas of Bettyhill, Strathnaver & Altnaharra, Strathy & Armadale and Melvich is in the process of being established and is expected to be launched later this year.
The Strathy North Joint Community Fund, worth £170,000 per year, will provide £4.25 million to the wider area over the 25 year lifespan of the project and deliver significant local benefits.
* More on this in Friday's NT.