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Energy Trust will help the north get connected

By John Davidson

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The Scottish Hydro Electric Community Trust will help communities and individuals in the north of Scotland get connected.
The Scottish Hydro Electric Community Trust will help communities and individuals in the north of Scotland get connected.

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

The independent charitable trust was set up in 1998 by Scottish Hydro Electric plc (now SSE plc). It 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 per cent of the cost of connections for successful community projects and will also support up to 50 per cent 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, September 4 2020, with future applications being considered by trustees on a quarterly basis.

Trust chairman Ron Brown said: “In the last financial year, we’ve issued grants of over £98,000 to support individual home owners to connect to the network in SSEN’s distribution area in the north of Scotland, with almost £108,000 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.”

Among previous recipients is East Sutherland Rescue Association, which is receiving a grant to provide electricity to the Boat Shed in Dornoch.

Gareth Dixon of the association, said: “East Sutherland Rescue Association (ESRA) is an independent charity which funds and operate an inshore lifeboat in the Dornoch Firth area. The lifeboat is crewed by volunteers and is one of only a handful of independent lifeboats in Scotland. We provide assistance to the police and coastguard in the event of water based emergencies. Currently we use a generator for power which is not ideal. The electricity connection will help us to keep the kit dry, crew warm and treat any casualties in a warm environment.”

Other recent application given the green light will help communities in Iona and Shetland.

Further applications are welcome after the September 4 closing 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.

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