The Scottish Hydro Electric Community 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 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.

The next round of applications closes on Friday 1 March 2019, with future applications being considered by Trustees on a quarterly basis.

The Trust is an independent charitable trust set up in 1998 by Scottish Hydro Electric plc (now SSE plc).  Ron Brown, Trust Chairman, said:  “We are 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 £128,700 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 £27,750 to support connection costs of community projects and are encouraging further applications from groups looking to provide significant benefits to their local communities.”

The Rotary Club of Thurso received a grant to provide electricity to the Community Surf Support Building at Thurso East. Mr Kevin Sutherland, Project Coordinator, said:  “I’d like to thank the Trust for accepting our application for assistance with the connection costs for the project and the generous award. This is a new community facility to be built to support surfing and water sports on the north coast. We will be able to offer welfare facilities, a meeting room and venue to local groups and individuals, tourists and visitors.  We hope the project will build upon the reputation the area has for surfing and provide added value.”

Kettins Parish Hall group, Blairgowrie, received a grant towards the connection of their new Parish Hall. Mr Russell Miller, Chairman, said:  “Thank you for the grant which you have given us to assist with electricity connection charges. This is greatly appreciated. Our core purpose is to provide a new quality facility that can be used by the whole community as a central point for social events and provide the driver for new groups to be established.”

Rothiemurchus and Aviemore Tennis Club also received a grant to provide electricity to the Tennis Clubhouse in Aviemore.  Ms Yvonne Birnie, Treasurer, said:  “In the Highlands the local weather conditions render the playing season much shorter than that of most clubs.  The club therefore developed a project to provide a new court with a cover which would create a new covered multi use playing/activity facility for the wider community encouraging more people to play more sport more often.”

The next round closes on Friday 1 March, 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 www.shect.org.