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Great Glen Energy Co-operative Fund

Main Grants Up to £20,000
Key dates  
Main grants application deadline: 13th May 2024
Decision meeting: 11th July 2024
Main grants application deadline: 12th August 2024
Decision meeting: 17th October 2024
Small Grants: Up to £2,500 Applications for small grants can be made at any time with decision in four weeks.

About this fund

The Great Glen Energy Co-operative purchased a stake in the Millennium wind farm in 2008. The wind farm is owned and managed by Millennium Wind Energy Ltd and is located in the hills north of Invergarry. There are currently 26 X 2.5 Mw Nordex turbines on the site. In full operation, they produce enough clean green energy to supply around 36,000 average homes.

The Co-op makes donations to local community groups and organisations to assist them with the cost of creating exciting new projects for the benefit of local people.

Projects which benefit residents of the following community council areas are eligible:

  • Glenurquhart
  • Fort Augustus & Glenmoriston
  • Glengarry
  • Stratherrick & Foyers
  • Dores & Essich
  • Inverness West

There are several grants available:

Main grants: Community groups can apply for grants of up to £20,000 for projects related to the environment, education and equality.

Small grants: Individuals and groups can apply for a smaller grant of up to £2,500. 

Individuals may ALSO apply for educational support of up to £2,500, if training/course relates to other fund themes of environment and equality.

Purpose of this fund

The fund will support charitable activity that provides community benefit under the following themes: 
•    Environment
•    Education
•    Equality

All applications must address at least one of these themes in order to be eligible for consideration. The strongest applications will meet two or more. 

Projects should demonstrate benefit in one or more of the community council areas listed above. 

Who can apply?

Groups and organisations working to benefit people in the fund area can apply for a grant. Applicants must have a constitution and be set up on a not for profit basis. They do not need to be a registered charity to apply, but activity must be charitable/for community benefit.

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

Educational awards for individuals can support costs related to education and training such as fees, travel and accommodation up to £2,500. Evidence of residency in the fund area and of course enrolment will be required.

Please see Foundation Scotland’s standard eligibility criteria.

Applicants are encouraged to contact the Fund Adviser at Foundation Scotland for an informal discussion about their project before submitting an application.

Both revenue items (eg running costs), and capital items (eg to buy equipment) can be funded. 

Applicants are normally expected to provide evidence of value for money, such as quotations, for costs over £300. See the Foundation Scotland website for further details.  

What can’t be funded?

The following types of activity will not be supported: 

  • The advancement of religion or politics 
  • Activities which are deemed to be the responsibility of statutory authorities 
  • Projects benefiting primarily those residents outwith the area of benefit 
  • Activities contrary to the interests of the fund
  • Activities likely to bring Foundation Scotland and/or the fund into disrepute
  • Anti-renewable energy/wind farm activities 
  • The repayment of loans or payment of debts
  • Costs already incurred or activities that will take place before the panel has made a decision on an application (retrospective funding)

How are decisions made?

Applications for small grants (£2,500 and under) will be accepted on an ongoing basis all year round. Applicants may be contacted by Foundation Scotland to clarify aspects of the application. Decision making is delegated to Foundation Scotland for small grants and applicants will be informed of the outcome within four weeks of submitting a complete application. Foundation Scotland will report quarterly to GGEC board on small grant awards.

The main grant programme (£2,501 to £20,000) will operate on the basis of four rounds per year, with decisions made by GGEC board at quarterly board meetings. 

Applicants for large grants should expect to be contacted by Foundation Scotland for an assessment interview. This will be carried out over the telephone or by video conference. The assessment is an opportunity to provide further information, so that the board have a thorough understanding of the project. GCEC board will make decisions on awards based on Foundation Scotland assessment report. 

Decisions will be final. Unsuccessful applications will receive feedback.

Sources of advice and support

The Fund Adviser is available to provide advice and support throughout the application process and applicants are encouraged to get in touch before applying. 

The Foundation Scotland website has lots of useful information to help applicants more generally, such as Foundation Scotland’s webpage on designing projects for people and planet which includes links to resources and case studies from across Scotland.

Other support organisations:

How to apply

For small grants up to £2,500 apply here

For educational support, of up to £2,500 apply here

For main grants up to £20,000 apply here 

Contact information

For application process and technical enquiries

Central Systems Support

For criteria and fund priority enquiries

Marion McDonald, Fund Adviser

Fund news