SSE Renewables has awarded more than £1.5 million to 20 ‘transformational’ projects across the Highlands.
It comes in a bid to help communities respond to the climate emergency, with the projects ranging from decarbonising heat in community facilities in Golspie to the creation of active travel routes in Skye.
In Tain, Gro for Good received £75,000 to support the creation of a community innovation campus. The project includes the build of a ‘mini Eden project’ dome which will provide information on consumer awareness and behavioural change surrounding food and drink in relation to net zero.
Hugh Fullerton-Smith, MD of Gro for Good, said, “The SSE Renewables grant has proved an enormous boost for our Community Innovation Campus project and has set a real precedent for other companies to follow suit and sponsor domes.
“Timely climate change solutions will form a real backbone of many aspects of the campus curriculum and these include a major focus on sustainable food production and Zero Waste. The project will lead a grass-roots movement towards developing sustainable communities that can be scaled both nationally and globally.
“The Campus will feature innovative training and education conducted in 11 Geodesic Domes adjacent to the famous ‘North Coast 500’. Funding for the first of the Geodesic Domes is now secure thanks to the award from the SSE Renewables Highland Sustainable Development Fund.”
Finlay McCutcheon, SSE Renewables director of onshore renewables (Europe), added, “We are currently facing a significant climate emergency and communities in the Highlands have shown they are taking serious action to support net zero. Net zero is incredibly close to the heart of what we do.
“We have ensured the funding will help the local community to respond to these unprecedent challenges and help the region deliver on its low carbon ambitions – making a real and lasting difference for many years to come.”
Councillor Raymond Bremner, leader of Highland Council, commented, “We welcome SSE Renewables’ commitment to establishing the Highland Sustainable Fund. Highland communities have been at the forefront in their drive to address the climate emergency. The funding provides significant opportunities for community development of projects across the region.
“As a region, we face a challenging transition towards net zero. It is heartening to have companies like SSE Renewables take a socially responsible role in the Highlands.
“Our region provides an abundance of natural resources. I hope this forms the catalyst for future commercial and public sector collaboration in delivering a just transition for all Highland residents.”
List of projects awarded:
|Arkaig Community Forest||To establish a native tree nursery and plant propagation unit as a community social enterprise.||£52,500.00|
|Glengarry Community Woodland||To establish an eco-tourist business, to create jobs and to support the woodland’s restoration.||£55,000.00|
|Thurso Community Development Trust||To deliver a socially growing project.||£89,802.00|
|Able 2 Adventure||To create an Accessibility Hub within the Cairngorms National Park.||£70,000.00|
|Glencoe Folk Museum||To support a museum re-development, with funding focused on net zero elements of the project.||£140,000.00|
|The Ledge||To make new climbing venue environmentally friendly.||£46,351.00|
|Engaging with Activity CIC||Provision of a sustainable, less expensive to run, more carbon neutral 5-seater electric vehicle||£35,293.00|
|Farr North Community Development Trust||An electric vehicle-based new community transport project to help defeat social and economic disadvantage caused by the extreme rurality.||£32,221.00|
|Fort Augustus and Glenmoriston Community Company||To provide electric vehicles and bicycles for use by Sunflower Home Care workers in the 3 Glens area of Fort Augustus, Glenmoriston and Glengarry||£85,035.00|
|Loch Ness Hub||To purchase an electric vehicle for community use, and to support local families to access wraparound childcare.||£30,000.00|
|North West Highland Geopark||Employing an Education Officer to deliver activities identified by young people in the Geopark.||£61,162.00|
|Clyne Heritage Society||To redevelop a derelict school into a heritage centre, with funding focused on net zero elements of the project.||£90,000.00|
|Go Golspie Development Trust||To regenerate a community building, with funding focused on net zero elements of the project.||£50,035.00|
|North Land Creative||To reduce the carbon impact of community buildings.||£48,000.00|
|Tain Heritage Trust||To support the restoration of a heritage site, with funding focused on net zero elements of the project.||£71,055.00|
|John O’Groats Mill Trust
|A Power for the Community: utilising the built and natural heritage around John O’Groats to deliver sustainable social, environmental and economic benefit to the community.||£250,000.00|
|Broadford & Strath Community Company||Skye Cycle Way: A community-initiated project to create the first section of a safe, accessible active travel path between the Skye Bridge and Broadford.||£100,000.00|
|Re:Circulate Sutherland||To reduce and reuse plastic from croft farming.||£14,350.00|
|Gro for Good
|To support the development of a Community Innovation Campus in Tain, and the funding will support salary costs and the installation of a Geodome. The project encourages a triple impact model that combines accessible and innovative youth development, sustainable practices and community empowered regeneration with a grassroots approach, transforming communities across the world.||£75,000.00|
|Elsie Normington Foundation||To build a specialist Haven Centre for learning disabled children and young people in Inverness, with funding focussed on net zero elements.||£150,000.00|