COMMUNITIES on the east coast of Caithness will be able to apply for £2 million over the next five years thanks to the launch of an offshore wind farm community benefit fund.
Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Limited is launching the Beatrice local fund and will be accepting applications from Wednesday.
The fund is available in five community council areas – Berriedale and Dunbeath; Sinclair Bay; Wick; Tannach and District, and Latheron, Lybster and Clyth.
SSE’s community investment manager Fiona Morrison said the fund will help with the realisation of community projects.
She said: “The fund is here to support activities that will enhance the Caithness area and has the potential to provide lasting benefits to the local community over the next five years.
“I would encourage as many people as possible to attend our funding surgeries on May 3, 8 and 9 to find out how they can take advantage of this exciting opportunity.”
Frank Sutherland, of Berriedale and Dunbeath Community Council, has been appointed chairman of the panel and said the fund will make a huge difference to communities.
He said: “I know there are lots of fantastic projects in the pipeline across the area and being able to access this fund is really important to local groups and could be just the help they need to get their projects off the ground.
“I can’t wait to see what projects are submitted so if your organisation fits the criteria please don’t miss out on applying.”
Situated 13.5km off the Caithness coast, the 84 turbine Beatrice wind farm is expected to generate enough energy to power 450,000 homes once operational in 2019.
The fund will be launched at Caithness Voluntary Group’s funding event in the Pulteney Centre in Wick on Wednesday from 10am to 1pm.
Additional funding surgeries will take place in Staxigoe Hall on Monday, May 8, from 3pm to 7.30pm; in Lybster Hall on Tuesday, May 9, from 10.30am to 1pm and in Dunbeath Community Centre on Tuesday, May 9, from 2.30pm to 6.30pm.