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Funding available for electricity connections in Caithness


By David G Scott

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The Scottish Hydro Electric Community Trust (Shect) invites applications for financial support to connect to the electricity network in Caithness and the far north.

Shect is an independent charitable trust set up in 1998 by Scottish Hydro Electric plc (now SSE plc). The Trust considers applications for support with the cost of connecting to the electricity network for individual home owners and community groups with charitable status in the Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) Distribution licence area in the north of Scotland.

Electricity pole in Freswick area. Picture: DGS
Electricity pole in Freswick area. Picture: DGS

Shect is looking to support up to 75 per cent of the cost of connections for successful community projects and will also support up to 50 per cent of the cost for individuals looking for support to meet the costs of a new domestic connection. As a charity, the Trust has to means test applications for domestic applicants.

The next round of applications closes on Friday, September 3, with future applications being considered by Trustees on a quarterly basis.

Donald Martin, Trust Chairman, said: “In the last financial year, we’ve issued grants of over £114,000 to support individual home owners to connect to the network in SSEN’s distribution area in the north of Scotland, with almost £31,000 issued to support connection costs of community projects providing significant benefit to their local communities.

“The Trust was initially set up to help those facing challenges connecting to the electricity network, particularly in some of our most rural and island communities, so we’re delighted to continue providing vital support to individuals and community groups over 20 years later.”

Mull and Iona Community Trust is receiving grants to provide electricity to an affordable housing development at Ulva Ferry
Mull and Iona Community Trust is receiving grants to provide electricity to an affordable housing development at Ulva Ferry

Mull and Iona Community Trust (Mict) is receiving grants to provide electricity to an affordable housing development at Ulva Ferry on Mull, delivering four houses for long-term affordable rent. Helen MacDonald from Mict said: “Now complete, our houses offer secure, affordable housing to a small number of households locally that, more ever than now, will struggle to find suitable housing on Mull where demand outstrips demand 10-fold. This provision in our very rural community will lead to social and economic benefits, support the local primary school, enable a potential population increase and hopefully set a precedent to deliver affordable housing that others might wish to follow.”

Further applications are welcome after the closing date of Friday, September 3 as the Trust meets on a quarterly basis to regularly consider applications.

For more information on Shect, to apply online or download an application form, please visit www.shect.org


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