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Middle Balbeggie Wind Farm Education & Training Fund

Grant size Up to £800
Key dates  
Deadline: Apply at any time

About this fund

The Middle Balbeggie Wind Farm Education & Training Fund (MBET Fund) supports residents living in the Thornton Community Council area in Fife who have started or wish to engage in study or training.  

The fund began in 2017, and is provided by Netro Energy, the current owner of Middle Balbeggie Wind Limited which operates the wind farm. The annual amount available to the fund will be reviewed periodically but could continue for the wind farm's operating lifetime, which is expected to be 25 years.

(There is also a Middle Balbeggie Wind Farm Main Grants fund, providing support to groups or projects benefitting the Thornton area).  

Purpose of this fund

The MBET Fund provides grants to help local people aged 16 or over to take up and progress through education and training courses (including apprenticeships), to increase their skills and enable access to a wider range of further training or employment opportunities. It helps people to overcome financial barriers which might otherwise prevent them from starting, completing or participating fully in courses.   

Funding can be used to cover part or all of course fees, travel costs, essential equipment such as books or IT equipment, childcare and subsistence.

Please see 'additional criteria' below to see what levels of support are available.

Additional criteria

There is no restriction on the sector or subject chosen. The important thing is that you are committed to completing the study and showing how it will help you realise your employment ambitions.

Your course may be long-term (one year or more) or shorter (1 day or even less, or taught over a period of weeks or months) and may be full-time or part-time. The level of grant will depend on the course you want to do and other funding available to you. 

Preference is given to requests for courses and training provided in Fife, but this does not exclude consideration of other proposals.  

  • For short courses (lasting less than a full academic year), you can apply for part or all of the course fee, up to a maximum of £800.  The fund may also assist with the cost of travel, childcare and subsistence, based on £8 per study day. The overall maximum award (combining fees and subsistence) is capped at £800, but awards are normally lower.
  • For courses of one academic year or longer (including apprenticeships), the fund can offer up to £800 towards the range of expenses incurred whilst studying during a particular academic year.  You may apply again for subsequent academic years or if you progress to a new course.  Part-time students may receive a lower grant depending upon the costs that they might face.  
  • For DVLA Theory and Driving Tests, you can apply for a grant of £100 towards the costs associated with theory and driving tests.  You will need to provide a copy of your Provisional Licence and evidence of a future Theory Test booking date.  

Who can apply?

Applications are welcome from anyone who is:

  • Aged 16 and over
  • A resident in Thornton 
  • On (or applying for) a further/higher education or training course to develop skills and employability

If you're currently employed, we understand you may want to progress in your employment or explore new career options. Where reasonable, we ask you to consider asking your employer to contribute towards course costs (up to 50%).

What can’t be funded?

Information on what the fund cannot support is provided here

Costs relating to driving lessons, theory and driving test are not eligible (if you are not studying)

Costs for high school pupils to attend external college courses are not eligible.

Costs that are already covered by a school, college, the Council or other body - we expect University and college students to have explored funding available from Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS - see 'Useful Links' below).  

How are decisions made?

Foundation Scotland will review your application and may contact you for further information.  You will receive a decision by email.  

Frequently asked questions

  • What type of course can the funding be used for?

    MBET grants can be used to attend vocational courses or participate in apprenticeships that will help develop your skills and improve your employment prospects.  The study or training can be at a college, university or private training provider; for apprenticeships we will seek details of employer and training provider.  Both long courses of a year or more and short courses are eligible.  They can be full or part-time.

    Below are some examples of situations we can help with.

    • Joe has had a few labouring jobs since leaving school but nothing long-term.  Now he’s seen an ad for agency driving jobs but needs a 1-week course to gain a class-2 HGV licence.
    • Jacqui is excited to have been offered a place at university.  Her course is in the central belt so it makes sense to move but she is anxious about the costs involved.
    • Dave’s being made redundant next month.  He’s heard of a warehouse job… all he needs is a 3-day fork-lift ticket.
    • Margaret had a job in admin before starting her family.  She needs to update her computer skills at an evening class to help her get back to work.
    • Lena is about to start her HNC at Fife College.  
  • How much can I apply for?

    Grants are up to £800. The amount of grant you apply for will depend on the course you want to do and the other expenses you will have. You can apply for all or part of the course fees if these are not going to be paid from another source e.g. SAAS, your employer or the Council. Grants can also cover travel costs, essential equipment such as books or IT equipment, childcare and subsistence.


  • When can I apply?

    The Fund is open to applications at any time, there are no deadlines. 

  • How will I receive the grant if my application is successful?

    If your application is approved you will receive an email with details of the grant being offered.  If the grant is to help cover the course fees it may be paid directly to your training provider.  In all other cases it will be paid to your bank account.  We will ask for a copy of your bank statement or pay-in slip to verify your bank account details when you apply.  

  • Do I need to do anything after I have received a grant?

    Yes, we will ask you to let us know how you got on with your course and whether the grant has helped you find work that suits you.  You will be asked to complete a short form to tell us how you got in with your course.  We always appreciate help to spread the word about the fund to other people in Thornton and occasionally we ask for your help in sharing 'good news' stories.

  • I receive other financial support, can I still apply?

    Yes, but please provided details of other grants, bursaries, student loans or employer contributions.  The Fund does not apply a personal ‘means test’ but if we receive more applications than we can support, we may use this information to help us make a fair decision.

How to apply

Please apply below.  You will need:

  • A working email account that you can access - to set up an online portal account through which applications are submitted online.
  • A recent bank statement - because we often need to check account details are correct before we can pay out a grant.  A scanned or photographed or electronic copy will need to be uploaded during the application process.

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 applying online or setting up your portal, please email or call 0131 524 0300 (during office hours) and we will be pleased to help.

Applications can normally be submitted at any time except:

  • For courses lasting less than a year (which we call 'short courses):  applications must be received at least 6 weeks before the course starts. If you need a decision more quickly, we will do our best to process your application immediately but cannot guarantee doing this in less than 6 weeks.
  • For courses lasting one-year or more:  we can accept applications from students already on longer-term or multi-year courses, but we will not make grant payments for any previous academic years.

Contact information

For application process and technical enquiries

Central Systems Support

For criteria and fund priority enquiries

Laura McLeod

Useful links

Fund news

Featured case studies