Hydro Trust offers financial support for new electricity connections

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

The Scottish Hydro Electric Community Trust is an independent charitable trust set up in 1998 by Scottish Hydro Electric plc (now SSE plc). The Trust 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% of the cost of connections for successful community projects and will also support up to 50% 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 7 September 2018, with future applications being considered by Trustees on a quarterly basis.

Ron Brown, Trust Chairman, said:

"We have been delighted to continue our support for individual home owners and community projects in the north of Scotland. The Trust was set up to help those facing challenges connecting to the electricity network, particularly in some of our most rural and island communities, so it’s great to see this support continue to benefit individual customers and wider communities 20 years later.

"In this past financial year, we’ve issued grants worth £84,500 to support individual home owners often facing high costs to connect to the network in SSEN’s distribution area in the north of Scotland. We also awarded grants totalling £100,000 to support connection costs of community projects and are encouraging further applications from groups looking to provide significant benefits to their local communities."

West Harris Trust received a grant to provide electricity to Talla na Mara Community Enterprise Centre, based in Horgabost.

Murdo Mackay, West Harris Trust Chairman, said:

"West Harris Trust is very grateful for connection assistance from the Scottish Hydro Electric Community Trust for the Talla na Mara Community Enterprise Centre. This is an arts and entertainment centre on the Isle of Harris, owned and operated on behalf of the West Harris community. The Community Centre is well used as a space for exhibitions, live music, local groups such as the lunch club and can even cater for weddings."

Ronas Drama Group in Sullom, Shetland is receiving a grant to provide electricity to their Drama Hut.

Ewen Balfour from Ronas Drama Group, said:

"The drama hut must be kept with a dry air to stop props becoming damp, so electricity is essential. We are not a wealthy group and our only fundraiser is currently our annual concerts. We do provide a useful function in our community for young, and not so young, members."

Fetterangus Community Association also received a grant to provide electricity to Fetterangus Community Sports Hub’s recreation grounds at Fetterangus.

Colin Wood, Chairman of Fetterangus Community Association, said:

"Fetterangus Community Association is very grateful for a connection grant from the Scottish Hydro Electric Community Trust for our recreation grounds at Fetterangus. This will enable us to form a playing field, develop car parking and improve the existing facilities. The award was critical to the project budget being achieved."

The next round closes on Friday 7 September, with further applications welcome after this 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.

* Trustees meet to consider applications four times a year. The closing date for applications to be considered at the next meeting is Friday 7 September. Applicants are encouraged to take their time with applications as these can be assessed during future meetings. Closing dates for next year will be announced on www.shect.org.

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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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