SSEN Distribution and SSEN Transmission have today announced the launch of a £280,000 fund to build local resilience and protect vulnerable community members.

The 2021 round of the Resilient Communities Fund will open on Tuesday 6 April, with £280,000 available for non-profit making organisations, community groups and charities working to protect and enhance the resilience of those most vulnerable in the north of Scotland. The deadline date for applications is Thursday 10 June.

In March last year, following stakeholder consultation, the Resilient Communities Fund was repurposed to support communities affected by the coronavirus pandemic, providing grants of up to £3,000 to community councils across the north of Scotland. Within seven weeks of the start of lockdown, awards of over £148,000 to 115 north of Scotland communities.

While last year’s grants continue to support the ongoing community coronavirus response, the 2021 fund will support local projects that:

  • Protect the welfare of vulnerable community members through enhancing their resilience and improving community participation and effectiveness.
  • Enhance community facilities, services and communication – particularly to support local response to a significant emergency event.

The 2021 fund is particularly focused on projects helping vulnerable or isolated people living in the SSEN Transmission and SSEN Distribution network area, with applications of up to £20,000 to be considered by an independent fund panel. Funding decisions will be communicated by September 2021.

Commenting on the launch of the 2021 round, Rob McDonald, Managing Director SSEN Transmission, said:

“This past year has been a year like no other, and as our distribution and transmission businesses play their part in supporting the green economic recovery from coronavirus, we’re also committed to supporting our communities to build their own resilience as we emerge from the pandemic.

“Since its launch in 2015, the Resilient Communities Fund has provided £2.8 million to 540 community groups and charities working tirelessly across our network areas. Community spirit has never been stronger, and we’re delighted to launch the fund again to make a real difference to the communities we serve.”

In previous rounds:

  • THAW (Tackling Household Affordable Warmth) Orkney received £15,000 to support vulnerable people across the Orkney Islands, helping them stay warm in their homes.
  • Highland Senior Citizens Network received £19,941 to build the resilience of older people within harder to reach communities, better connecting those most at risk during emergency events.
  • Glasgow and Clyde RAYNET received £16,432 to enhance radio communication across the Argyll and Bute islands, including Colonsay, Islay, Jura, Tiree and Coll.
  • Amina   - the Muslim Women’s Resource Centre - received £13,323 to build the resilience of minority ethnic women in Dundee.

Initially run as a pilot, SSEN pledged to extend the fund to 2023 using a proportion of the income it receives from the industry regulator, Ofgem, in relation to its stakeholder engagement performance.

To find out more about the Resilient Communities Fund, read the annual fund reports and apply from Tuesday 6 April, please visit: ssen.co.uk/resiliencefund.

To check who your network operator is to see if you would be eligible for funding, please visit ssen.co.uk/whoismynetworkoperator.

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