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Funding available from North Highland Initiative for support groups

By Alan Hendry

The North Highland Initiative Community Support Programme will help small initiatives in Ross-shire, Caithness and Sutherland.
The North Highland Initiative Community Support Programme will help small initiatives in Ross-shire, Caithness and Sutherland.

Funding has become available for community organisations that are setting up support for vulnerable people during the coronavirus pandemic.

The North Highland Initiative Community Support Programme has been introduced to provide grants of up to £1000 for small initiatives in the education, conservation, and community service and support sectors in Caithness, Sutherland and Ross and Cromarty.

Priority will be given to those initiatives where Government support packages are unable to help, and those ineligible for emergency grants.

Given the current crisis, and for the foreseeable future, applicants for the Community Support Programme must be able to demonstrate that their project has been established as a direct result of the coronavirus pandemic.

They must show that their project meets a “genuine and urgent community need”, and that the project carries no financial benefits for private individuals within the community.

The Community Support Programme will not support applications from statutory organisations, individuals or projects outwith the north Highland region. Applications are open now, with a closing date of April 30.

David Whiteford, chairman of the North Highland Initiative, said: “Our Community Support Programme is a means of financial help, aimed at communities that are experiencing particular hardship as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

“Our aim is to target areas, projects and local initiatives for which government support packages may not be able to assist, and those ineligible for emergency funding.

“With a limit of £1000 of funding per project available, this allows us to provide multiple smaller grants aimed at reaching out to as many communities as possible."

For more information about the North Highland Initiative’s Community Support Programme, and to apply for funding, click here.

The Third Sector Resilience Fund is now open. This fund is an emergency fund for charities, community groups, social enterprises and voluntary organisations working in Scotland.

It will support organisations that already deliver services and products but find themselves in financial difficulties directly as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The primary intention of the fund is to help third sector organisations to stabilise and manage cash flows over this difficult period.

The fund will be delivered by Firstport, Social Investment Scotland and the Corra Foundation and will provide grants between £5000 and £100,000. In addition there will be up to a further £5m available in fully flexible, zero per cent interest loans starting at £50,000.

The fund will be complemented by specialist business advice from Just Enterprise to help grant recipients maximise the impact of the financial support.

To be eligible, interested organisations must be a charity, social enterprise or voluntary organisation based in Scotland and/or primarily delivering services/activities in Scottish communities; already delivering those products or services prior to March 2020; and needing funding to stabilise cash flows directly as a result of the impact of Coivd-19, as opposed to pre-existing financial difficulties.

You can find more information here.

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