SSE has opened the first round of the Partnership Fund for the Beatrice Offshore Wind Farm (BOWL), making £600,000 available to support transformative community projects in both Highland and Moray in the first year.
The Beatrice Partnership Fund, worth a total of £3m over a five year period, is now inviting applications from non-profit making organisations, community groups and charities from the east coast communities in Caithness and Sutherland, and the coastal communities in Moray. Successful projects will have the potential to deliver transformational social, economic and environmental changes in the local area whilst supporting long term community development.
A further £3m will be available for the local communities in Caithness and Moray and an announcement on that fund is expected in spring 2017. The £6 million community investment fund is being provided by BOWL and is in addition to a package of benefits provided by BOWL.
The 588MW, 84 turbine Beatrice offshore wind farm is due to be operational by 2019, with onshore construction work already underway.
Morven Smith, Head of Community Investment at SSE, said: “We are delighted to announce the launch of the Beatrice Partnership Fund in both Highland and Moray. It provides an excellent opportunity for communities to realise their ambitions and build stronger local economies.
“The purpose of the fund is to support activities that will enhance the area and the fund has the potential to provide real and significant benefits to the local community over the coming years. SSE has, for a long time, believed the communities in which we operate should benefit the most from our Community Benefit Funds so we’ll be working closely with all parties, to ensure the areas around the Beatrice Offshore Wind Farm benefit the most.”
In order to be eligible for funding, projects will achieve one or more of the following priority themes:
- Creating opportunities – increased opportunities for education and employment;
- Empowering communities – build resilience and protect vulnerable residents;
- Building sustainable places – stimulation of meaningful community regeneration.
The deadline for applications is Friday 10 February 2017, and fund guidelines and application forms can be downloaded from www.sse.com/beatricepartnershipfund.