Closing date for community grants of up to £20,000 is fast approaching

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) is urging communities across central southern England to apply for grant-funding of up to £20,000 from its Resilient Communities Fund before the closing date this coming Sunday, 13 August.

The Resilient Communities Fund is worth £285,000 in total and is available to non-profit making organisations, community groups and charities in SSEN’s distribution network area.

The applications process opened on 2 June and, with the deadline date of 13 August fast approaching, SSEN is keen to make sure as many eligible groups as possible apply. An independent panel, made up of representatives of community and charitable organisations with expertise in community resilience planning, alongside members of SSEN’s management team, will decide which projects are to receive grants from the Resilient Communities Fund. Decisions on each application will then be communicated later in October.

The Resilient Communities Fund supports local projects that:

  • Protect the welfare of vulnerable community members by enhancing their resilience and through improving effective community participation during emergencies.

  • Enhance community facilities, services and communication - specifically to support local response to a significant emergency event.

Previous rounds of the fund were significantly oversubscribed, and priority will be given to projects that support isolated communities that have experienced emergencies due to weather events; town and city based projects showing innovative ways to build resilience; projects which can deliver an improvement to the resilience of vulnerable community members; and support for areas which can be difficult for emergency services to reach quickly.

Lisa Doogan, Director of Customer Relationship Management at SSEN, said: "We are delighted with the level of interest in the Resilient Communities Fund so far and encourage interested groups to submit their applications by the closing date of 13 August.

"We work with the communities within our network area all year round and are committed to helping them become more resilient, whether that’s assisting them with resilience plans, education or through the Resilient Communities Fund. Ensuring our customers are safe during an emergency is one of our key priorities and through this fund we are able to help them be better prepared."

The first four rounds of the Resilient Communities Fund were highly competitive with total grant funding of just under £1m being divided amongst 135 different organisations. Successful grants included projects to purchase emergency vehicles for search and rescue groups and funding community-based defibrillators.

SSEN has 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. Based on 2015/16 figures, this would allow funding in the region of £2m to be distributed to community-led groups and charities in central southern Englandover the six-year period.

To find out more about the Resilient Communities Fund, or to download an application form, visit: https://www.ssen.co.uk/RCF/England/. To check your network operator, please visit: www.ssen.co.uk/Whoismynetworkoperator.

About the author

Van on rural road

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks

We're responsible for maintaining the electricity networks supplying over 3.7 million homes and businesses across central southern England and north of the Central Belt of Scotland. We own one electricity transmission network and two electricity distribution networks, comprising 106,000 substations and 130,000 km of overhead lines and underground cables across one third of the UK. Our first priority is to provide a safe and reliable supply of electricity to the communities we serve in Scotland and England.

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