Second round of fund underway

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Energy firm SSE has opened the second round of its Dumfries and Galloway Sustainable Development Fund, making £300,000 available to support ‘transformative’ community projects

The Fund is open to non-profit making organisations, community groups and charities across the region. Successful projects will have the potential to deliver transformational social, economic and environmental changes in the local area and support long-term community development.

Projects will also achieve one or more of the following priority themes: Creating opportunities – increase opportunities for education and employment; Empowering communities – build resilience and protect vulnerable residents; Building sustainable places – stimulate meaningful community regeneration.

The deadline for expression of interests in the fund is 22 August 2016 with full applications to be received by 23 September 2016. Fund guidelines and an Expression of Interest form can be downloaded from www.sse.com/sustainablefund

SSE created the Sustainable Development Fund as part of its community benefit arrangements from its onshore renewable energy developments in and around Dumfries and Galloway, including Balmurrie Fell wind farm near Stranraer and the Clyde Extension wind farm near Moffat.

Lord McConnell, Chair of the Fund panel said: “The second round of the Dumfries and Galloway Sustainable Development Fund provides an exciting opportunity for communities to realise their ambitions and build stronger local economies.”

“I am looking forward to reviewing a strong set of applications that will be genuinely transformative for the Dumfries and Galloway area.”

In the first application round, seven groups across the Dumfries and Galloway region were awarded a total of £150,585 from the fund. The Whithorn Trust, was awarded £23,255 by SSE towards the development of a full scale reconstruction of an Iron Age Roundhouse. The project seeks to use a design team consisting of local people, including: craftsmen; architect; engineer; archaeologists; and volunteers.

Julia Muir Watt from the Whithorn Trust said: “We are absolutely delighted by the news of the grant from the SSE Sustainable Development Fund. The aim is to make Whithorn a destination to draw visitors in, help the craft economy and showcase our unique heritage.”

A full list of the awards from the Dumfries and Galloway Sustainable Development Fund round one is provided below:

Sandhead Learning Centre; Towards three years’ revenue costs to cope with increasing demand for digital learning support at the centre and to purchase equipment; £57,952.00

Kirkconnel & Kelloholm Development Trust; To purchase a mini-tractor to allow the community to cut grass in public areas in the summer and clear pavements in winter £31,800.00

The Whithorn Trust; To reconstruct a full-scale Iron Age roundhouse and kitchen garden to grow period crops. £23,255.00

Creetown Initiative; To support two salaries to manage two projects at the Creetown Enterprise Centre for 12 months £22,378.00

Kirkcudbright Community; Towards a major community consultation and project officer salary for the initial feasibility stage to investigate a community buy out of the old Johnston School in Kirkcudbright £10,000.00