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RWE Bad á Cheò Wind Farm Community Fund (Halkirk District)

Grant size Up to £10,000
Key dates  
Application deadlines: 15th March, 15th June, 15th September, 15th December
Notification dates: End May, end August, end November, end February

About this fund

This fund supports charitable activities or services that benefit people living in the Community Council area of Halkirk District in Caithness.  Constituted not-for-profit groups or organisations working to benefit people in the area may apply.

The fund is provided by RWE, owner of the Bad á Cheò Wind Farm. Starting in June 2019, it receives at least £44,616 annually (index-linked to) for the life of the Wind Farm, expected to be 25 years. This amount will rise each year in accordance with the Consumer Price Index.

Note the Achlachan Wind Farm Fund (link below) also provides grants for projects benefitting this community council area and is administered by Foundation Scotland.

Purpose of this fund

The outcomes for the fund are:

  1. Developing services and facilities.
  2. Sustaining and creating employment.
  3. Increasing skills and knowledge.
  4. Preserving and enhancing or giving better access to culture, heritage and the environment.
  5. Getting around and getting connected.

Your application must demonstrate how it will contribute towards one or more of these, listing the measurable activities/outputs that your project will deliver to achieve the relevant outcome(s). However, applications that do not clearly fit with these outcomes but which can show strong community support and evidence of need may be considered where funds allow.

Additional criteria

  • Local consultation: That you have consulted with the intended beneficiaries of the project and other local groups and/or businesses as appropriate, and that these are supportive of the proposal. 
  • Partnership working: Where appropriate, applicants should consider whether delivering their project in partnership with other organisations/groups could add value (financial, capability, or other). This could involve working with voluntary, private or public sector bodies that operate at local, regional or national level.
  • Sustainable development: Applicants should consider whether projects will contribute towards sustainable development, including minimising the environmental impact of projects and reducing the ‘carbon footprint’ of the applicant organisation and/or Halkirk & District community.
  • Local procurement: Local suppliers of goods and services should be used where appropriate (e.g., in terms of quality of products/services available) and feasible (in terms of availability and cost). The definition of ‘local’ will vary depending on the goods/services in question. In some cases, it could be taken to mean within Halkirk & District but in others, Caithness, or indeed the North of Scotland might be most appropriate.

Who can apply?

Groups and organisations working to benefit people in Halkirk & District can apply.  

Your group/organisation must meet our standard eligibility criteria. It does not need to be a registered charity.

Applications from groups or organisations based out with the fund area will be considered on a case-by-case basis and must demonstrate a clear benefit for residents within the fund area. 

What can’t be funded?

Information on what the fund cannot support is provided here.

Then the fund will not support any form of campaigning.

How are decisions made?

A Panel of local residents make recommendations on grant awards and advises on fund strategy. 

The Panel makes decisions on both the RWE Bad a Cheo Wind Farm Community Fund (Halkirk & District) and Achlachan Wind Farm Community Fund. The Panel accepts applications to both funds for the same project (co-funding). 

  • The Panel can have up to 14 members, as follows:
  • Two residents nominated from the Westerdale area.
  • Two residents nominated from the Spittal area.
  • Two residents nominated from elsewhere within the fund priority area.
  • Two residents nominated from youth groups in the area.
  • Two residents nominated from the Scotscalder area.
  • One representative nominated by the Halkirk & District Community Council
  • One resident nominated from the Halkirk area.
  • One representative nominated from Halkirk School Parent Council.
  • One representative nominated by the owner of the wind farm.

If you are interested in joining the Panel please submit your contact information here and we will contact you.

Panel members serve for between two and four years, retiring on a phased basis to ensure knowledge and expertise are retained. 

Current Panel members are:

  • Kathrin Haltimer
  • Stuart Mills
  • Linda Levack
  • Anne Gunn
  • Donald Mackay
  • David Busby
  • Victoria Spencer
  • Gordy Levack

The Panel meets four times each year to consider applications for support.

Minutes of the latest Panel meetings are available on request from the Community Funds Adviser. Contact details can be found below.

Frequently asked questions

  • Can I apply for the cost of feasibility studies and other project development work?

    Some projects, particularly large and transformative projects such as those involving the purchase or development of property, can require significant research/ consultation, planning and other feasibility work. The fund can support such activity; however, applications must demonstrate realistic ambitions, that appropriately skilled and qualified personnel are involved in conducting the work and must not duplicate any similar recent feasibility work.

  • Can the fund support the cost of trips out with the Funds area?

    Yes, where the proposed activity delivers on the funds outcomes and provides benefit the wider community.

  • Can the fund support the cost of salaries and can the fund support 100% of project costs?

    Applications towards salaries or wages must show how the position will contribute to the achievement of fund outcomes in a measurable way, listing the main outputs to be delivered over the grant funding period. Where funding for more than one year has been agreed in principle, grant payments in each year will be dependent on evidence that these outputs have been achieved in the previous year. 
    Applications towards salaries or wages must also:
    * demonstrate how the salary/wage rate has been arrived at, including how it has been benchmarked with comparable posts
    * provide a job description and person specification for the post, and
    * outline the recruitment process, ensuring this is being run in a fair and open way.

    Applicants are not required to source any specific proportion of matched funds for their project. However, you should explore other possible funding sources for their project. Awards from the Trust should not displace funding that could be obtained from other sources but should help leverage additional funds if possible. Additionally, the availability of the fund should not reduce community groups’ commitment to organising local activities that contribute to a vibrant community calendar and promote community spirit. 

  • Can I apply for a grant towards costs over several years?

    Where considering a request for funding over several years (a multi-year grant), the Panel also need to consider the implications this may have in terms of reducing the amount available to distribute to other causes in future years.
    Where multi-year funding has been agreed, the release of funding for each year will depend on evidence that your group has achieved the agreed activities and outcomes for the previous year. 
    Multi-year awards are usually offered over a maximum of three years; however, the Panel can consider up to five years where the applicant can demonstrate a need and significant community benefit. Please contact us before applying as additional information will be required for multi-year awards.

  • Can the fund support my group’s core running costs?

    Yes, you can apply for core (‘business as usual’) costs, however, the Panel is concerned that grants should not replace typical fundraising efforts (such as local events), which often foster community activity in themselves. Therefore, if you are applying for funding towards operational costs please ensure the rationale is fully explained.

  • How many applications can I submit?

    You can apply for funding for more than one project in each round. You can also apply for and hold more than one grant in any year however you may be required to provide monitoring reports for previous grants before any further awards is made.

  • What if my project needs less or more than the minimum/maximum grant amount?

    The Halkirk & District Community Council operates a micro-grant scheme that offers grants of up to £200 to individuals or groups for charitable activities that will benefit the community. Please contact the Community Council to apply for a micro-grant (see ‘Useful Links’ below).

    Requests for more than £10,000 may be considered on a case-by-case basis where you can provide evidence that your proposal will bring about significant benefit for the community. Please contact us before applying.

How to apply

Complete the online application form. Completed applications and supporting documents must be received by the application deadline.  

If you would like to review the questions you will be asked to answer before starting the form, you can see them here.

If you have any problems accessing the form, please email or call 01557 814927 and we can help.

Contact information

For application process and technical enquiries

Central Systems Support

For criteria and fund priority enquiries

Eilidh Coll, Community Funds Adviser

Useful links