Wind farm funds boost for groups

The Press and Journal (North-East) - - NEWS - Thurs­day, De­cem­ber 6, 2018 BY DAVID MCPHEE

High­land and Mo­ray com­mu­ni­ties have re­ceived nearly half a mil­lion pounds from a mas­sive Mo­ray Firth wind pro­ject.

The Beatrice Off­shore Wind farm (Bowl) Part­ner­ship Fund said it has dis­trib­uted £460,000 to non-profit com­mu­nity groups and char­i­ties in 2018.

The 84-tur­bine SSE Beatrice pro­ject, due to be op­er­a­tional next year, is un­der con­struc­tion in the Outer Mo­ray Firth.

One of the big­gest in­fras­truc­ture projects in Scot­land’s his­tory, the wind farm will look to gen­er­ate 588 megawatts of power.

Worth a to­tal of £3 mil­lion over five years, ac­cord­ing to Bowl the pro­ject fund is de­signed to de­liver “trans­for­ma­tional so­cial, eco­nomic and en­vi­ron­men­tal changes in the lo­cal area while sup­port­ing long-term com­mu­nity de­vel­op­ment”.

One High­land hous­ing sup­port or­gan­i­sa­tion re­ceived £46,246 over two years to hire a sub­stance mis­use of­fi­cer and to ex­tend its food bank to a fur­ther four com­mu­ni­ties in sur­round­ing ar­eas of Tain.

Chair­man of the hous­ing sup­port group Chris­tian Com­mu­nity Ac­tion Sup­port Team (CCAST), Graeme Nutt, said: “‘The Board of CCAST High­land are ex­tremely grate­ful to the Beatrice Part­ner­ship Panel for sup­port­ing the work of CCAST. This grant will al­low us to de­velop two key ar­eas of work.

“Firstly, to ex­pand the food bank pro­vi­sion into new ar­eas and se­condly, to sup­port those vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple re­quir­ing ad­dic­tions sup­port.”

Bowl also an­nounced it will re­open ap­pli­ca­tions in Jan­uary.

It will be open to non­profit groups in east coast com­mu­ni­ties in Caith­ness and Suther­land and the com­mu­nity coun­cil ar­eas of Ed­der­ton, Tain, In­ver and Tar­bat.

In Mo­ray, it will be open to groups from the coastal com­mu­ni­ties and the ar­eas of Buckie, Keith, Len­nox and Strathisla.

David Shearer of the Beatrice Part­ner­ship fund panel, said: “Part of our fund­ing pri­or­i­ties is to em­power frag­ile com­mu­ni­ties to be­come more re­silient. Our award to CCAST High­land will en­able the char­ity to sub­stan­tially ex­tend its food bank fa­cil­ity at Tain to an ad­di­tional four sur­round­ing com­mu­ni­ties.

“Over two years, our fund­ing will also sup­port a new sub­stance mis­use worker to outreach the char­ity’s ad­dic­tion sup­port group ac­tiv­i­ties and will in­clude pre­ven­tion aware­ness in schools to fur­ther en­sure that a longer-term so­cial im­prove­ment is achieved.”

HELP­ING HANDS: David Shearer, Beatrice Part­ner­ship Panel mem­ber, Ca­role An­der­son CCAST food bank co-or­di­na­tor, Gra­ham Nutt, di­rec­tor CCAST High­land, Fiona Mor­ri­son, SSE com­mu­nity fund man­ager

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