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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 with charitable status in the Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) Distribution licence area in the north of Scotland.

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. As a charity, the Trust has to means test applications for domestic applicants.

The next round of applications closes on Friday 3 September 2021, 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.”

Inverness Rowing Club is receiving a grant to provide electricity to their Glenurquhart Road facility.  Dave Rothwell, President, Inverness Rowing Club, said: “The club has managed almost 30 years without lighting, heating or hot water.  A connection to our club house will vastly improve the facilities that we can offer our members and hopefully assist in our aims to grow the club membership.  The Club has been saving towards the cost of new facilities and the grant from the Scottish Hydro Electric Community Trust has therefore been invaluable in maximising club funds.”   

Mull and Iona Community Trust is receiving grants to provide electricity to an affordable housing development at Ulva Ferry on Mull, delivering 4 houses for long-term affordable rent.  Helen MacDonald from Mull and Iona Community Trust, said: “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 ten 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 3 September 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 www.shect.org.