Wind farm funds boost for groups
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