The Scottish Hydro Electric Community Trust is inviting applications for financial support to connect to the electricity network in the north of Scotland.

The Scottish Hydro Electric Community Trust 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 in the Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) licence area.

The Trust is looking to support up to 75% of the cost of connections for successful community projects and will also support up to 50% of the cost for individuals looking for support to meet the costs of a new domestic connection.

The next round of applications closes on Friday 27 December 2019, with future applications being considered by Trustees on a quarterly basis.

Ron Brown, Trust Chairman, said:“We have been delighted to continue our support for individual home owners and community projects in the north of Scotland. The Trust was set up to help those facing challenges connecting to the electricity network, particularly in some of our most rural and island communities, so it’s great to see this support continue to benefit individual customers and wider communities over 20 years later.

“In the financial year to date, we’ve issued grants worth £63,668 to support individual home owners often facing high costs to connect to the network in SSEN’s distribution area in the north of Scotland. We also awarded grants totalling £30,085 to support connection costs of community projects and are encouraging further applications from groups looking to provide significant benefits to their local communities.”

The Aboyne and Mid Deeside Community Shed received a grant to provide electricity to their premises at Stone Circle Road, Aboyne. 

Mr Philip Lay, Treasurer, said:“This is a major new social development for Aboyne. The facility will offer opportunities for local people, as groups or individuals, to become involved in a range of practical activities, projects or events, as well as a place for daytime socialising in a relaxing woodland environment. The shed will be open to all adults 18+. Persons under 18, accompanied by a responsible adult, will be welcome visitors. The Scottish Hydro Electric Community Trust was selected as a potential funding provider by being a specialist in giving assistance to rural community groups needing a supply connection in the SSEN distribution area.”

Plastic@Bay CIC, Durness received a grant towards the connection of their new plastic recycling workshop, set up in Durness to tackle plastic pollution on local beaches.  Ms Joan D’Arcy, Director, said: “Thanks to the Hydro Trust for the grant to connect our plastic recycling workshop, ‘The Plastic Lab’, in Durness. Most of the plastic we collect is fishing ropes and nets which are not recyclable by conventional means and end up in landfill.  Our aim is to sell enough items made from recycled fishing nets to employ beach cleaners and become self-sufficient in order to continue our good work.”

Urras Dualchas Ratharsair – Raasay Heritage Trust received a grant to provide electricity so that work on their future Heritage Centre, previously a 1760 meal mill, can progress.  Ms Rebecca Mackay, Secretary/Treasurer, said:  “As well as historically important paper material, we have audio collections and a large genealogical data base. The Trust has worked with local Primary Schools, consulted by the Association of Field Archaeologists and helped students in Sabhal Mòr (Gaelic College in Skye), the School of Scottish Studies, part of Edinburgh University and the University of Highlands and Islands.”

The next round closes on Friday 27 December, with further applications welcome after this date as the Trust meets on a quarterly basis to regularly consider applications.

For more information on the Scottish Hydro Electric Community Trust, to apply online or download an application form, please visit