Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks
Hydro Trust seeks new connections

May 12, 2017

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 can consider applications for support with the cost of connecting to the electricity network for community groups and individual home owners in the Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks licence area in the north of Scotland. Full details and information on how to apply for support are available on its website at www.shect.org.

Ahead of the next round of applications which closes on Friday 19 May 2017, the Trust is looking to fund up to 75% of the cost of connections for successful community projects and will support up to 50% of the cost for individuals who need support to meet the costs of a new domestic connection.

Ron Brown, Trust Chairman says: "The trust was set up in 1998 to offer help to those facing challenges connecting to the electricity network in the north of Scotland, especially in rural or island communities.
"We continue to help communities connect their own renewable energy to the grid, as well as supporting the connection of important community housing projects across the north of Scotland.

"We recently awarded the Highlands Small Communities Housing Trust (HSCHT) with grants to support affordable housing projects in the Highlands and the Isle of Skye. With our support, affordable rural homes can become a reality for local households and communities across the length and breadth of the country.

"We are encouraging applications from projects that can bring significant benefits to their local communities. Depending on the level of this benefit, we will be able to fund between 50% and 75% of the network connection cost. We would also encourage individual customers facing high costs to apply and we can help support up to 50% of their connection costs."

Applications over the past year have been encouraging, with the Trust recently seeing its highest level of applications on record, with grants at the last meeting in March totalling nearly £144,000. Of grants awarded in 2016/17, Birsay Heritage Trust in Orkney recently received £10,850 towards the connection of the electricity supply to renovate buildings at the site of the World War 2 naval air station, HMS Tern. With support from the Trust, the local community and visitors alike will benefit from buildings open to the public displaying historical items recording the contribution of Air Services in Orkney during both world wars.

Stramash Outdoor is a Social Enterprise company and registered charity that prides itself on working with children and young people from the age of 2-20. Providing varied outdoor educational experiences in Argyll and Bute, Highland and Moray, Stramash has been delivering life through the outdoors for eight years. The Scottish Hydro Electric Community Trust recently awarded the charity with a grant of £12,900 to establish an electrical connection at its premises in Fort William.

Cameron Sprague, Team Leader at Stramash in Fort William said: "Grant-funding from the Scottish Hydro Electric Community Trust will directly and positively impact the lives of 53 individual children and their families who attend our outdoor nursery in Fort William. The connection to the electricity network will also allow us the opportunity to base our headquarters in Fort William and expand our reach to help children and young people across Scotland.

"The establishment of the electrical connection will ensure that we can continue to not only provide quality outdoor nursery education in a warm and safe environment, but will also allow us to work with local primary schools, providing a residential base to deliver outdoor education to schools from all over the west coast of Scotland, and continue to support workforce and young person development through our unique Modern Apprenticeship scheme."

The next round of applications closes on Friday 19 May, with further applications welcome after this date with the Trust meeting to consider applications quarterly.

For more information on the Scottish Hydro Electric Community Trust, to apply online or to download an application form visit www.shect.org

For more information:

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks

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