Money for community ventures in north Lewis has started flowing again after the end of restrictions imposed as a result of the loss of income when the mainland electricity cable failed in October 2020.
The catastrophic failure of the subsea cable between Skye and the Isle of Harris was responsible for a massive power cut which hit everyone in Lewis and Harris on Friday 16 October. That left all 17,774 properties in the two islands being powered by the diesel-fired turbines at Battery Point and Arnish power stations. The link was replaced and restored by late September 2021.
Urras Oighreachd Ghabhsainn (UOG) has awarded a grant of £2,000 to Ness Football Club via its Community Investment Fund. The award is welcome news for Ness FC - after qualifying for the semi-finals of the Highland Amateur Cup, the grant will be used to effectively cover the costs of the team’s pre-match accommodation.
This is the first award UOG has given out since the relaunch of the Community Investment Fund in early June 2022. Applications to the Community Investment Fund had been on hold since 2020, when a sub-sea cable failure had a major impact on the community’s wind energy development at Ballantrushal which cut the income stream to UOG.
Now, with the turbines back to generating at regular output, which is exported via the subsea link, and some of the financial uncertainty associated with the COVID-19 pandemic alleviated, applications can once again be made by constituted local groups to the UOG Community Investment Fund.
Agnes Rennie, Chairperson of UOG, said: “We are thrilled to be able to make this announcement after relaunching the Fund a number of weeks ago. The success of the football club is a great boost for the community at this time and the Urras is pleased to be able to provide key financial support for their journey for this critical game.”
Donald ‘Sweeny’ Macsween, Ness FC Manager, said: “We’re delighted to receive this funding from the Urras, which means the team will be able to have the best possible preparation for our biggest game in 25 years.
"The application process was quick and promptly dealt with by the Urras, meaning that we could put plans in place for this weekend. Trips like this are expensive for clubs and individuals so this funding also means that no one will miss out on the experience due to costs. We can now focus on Saturday’s game and give it our all against Pentland United.”
The Community Investment Programme was established to invest funds from the renewables project income back into the Galson Estate community. During 2022 it was rebranded, with the new look fund simplified and streamlined in line with feedback received from previous applicants. The main products offered are now a Small Grant and Development Grant, plus a Support For Growth package for more strategic initiatives.
For further information pertaining to the Community Investment Fund, including guidelines on how to apply, please visit: www.galsontrust.com