Historic Environment Scotland (HES) is encouraging organisations with community-based projects in the Western Isles to apply for its new Coasts and Waters Heritage Fund which launches today (Monday 9 March) for the Year of Coasts and Waters.

As part of the new scheme, grants between £3,000 and £20,000 will be available for projects which help communities to protect, promote or engage with Scotland’s coastal areas or waterways. This includes projects which are developing and implementing measures to enhance resilience and adapt to climate change.

While community groups are encouraged to apply, the scheme is open to all organisations throughout the country. All applicants, however, should demonstrate how their project will benefit the local community. This could be through developing traditional skills, stabilising historic or marine structures, hosting community outreach and educational activities, or increasing people’s understanding of Scotland’s coasts and waters heritage.

The Coasts and Waters Heritage Fund is a one-off, competitive fund to celebrate Scotland’s themed year and applications will close on Sunday 31 May.

Jane Ryder OBE, Chair of HES, said: “For thousands of years, communities across Scotland have lived and worked along or near water, and the Year of Coasts and Waters provides an excellent opportunity to engage people with our coastal and waterway heritage.

“Through this new grant programme, we are encouraging communities not only to celebrate our coasts and waters, but also to explore opportunities to adapt to the effects of climate change and help ensure this important aspect of our heritage is protected for future generations.”

The launch of the Coasts and Waters Heritage Fund follows the publication of HES’s Climate Action Plan which outlines an ambitious programme of climate commitments over the next five years and beyond, in response to the climate crisis.

To apply for the Coasts and Waters Heritage Fund, an expression of interest must be made by Thursday 30 April. Applications will close on Sunday 31 May.

For further information visit: http://www.historicenvironment.scot/ycw2020-heritage-fund

For further information on HES’ Year of Coasts and Waters activity, visit: www.historicenvironment.scot/ycw2020