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River Avich Hydro Open Grants Fund

Grant size Up to £3,000
Argyll and Bute
Key dates  
Application deadline: Apply anytime

About this fund

This fund provides grants for charitable projects and activities that primarily benefit residents of Inverinan, Lochavich, Dalavich, or Kilmaha. It’s part of the overall River Avich Hydro Community Benefit Fund.

Started in 2021, the fund is provided by Awesome Energy Dalriada (AED), owner and operator of the River Avich Hydro-power Scheme. AED is a community benefit society set up and run by the local community to develop and operate the hydro scheme.

There is no fixed amount of funding available in any year; the amount available is decided in June each year by local anchor organisation Dalavich Improvement Group and is also dependent on AED’s profitability and other financial commitments. In 2023, the total amount available for distribution via this fund was just under £18,000.

To see the geographical areas the fund covers, please click here to view a map of the River Avich Hydro Community Benefit Fund Area.

Purpose of this fund

The fund supports charitable activity that delivers on the strategic themes and associated priorities set out in the Dalavich Improvement Group Community Action Plan. These themes are listed below; please view the Community Action Plan for details of the priorities. Proposals that fall outside the priorities yet still meet with the themes may be supported, where there is clear evidence of need and community support.

Fund themes:

  • Community Centre
  • Infrastructure and services
  • Communication/ Community spirit
  • Local environment
  • Tourism and facilities (activities)
  • Children and young people
  • Employment and opportunity

Awards can support a wide range of costs and activities, including, for example, equipment costs, staff or sessional worker costs, consultations and feasibility studies, and repair or refurbishment of community facilities.

Additional criteria

Applicants must demonstrate how their proposal meets with or consider the following additional criteria appropriately and proportionately relative to their project.

  • Local procurement: Local suppliers will be used to provide goods and services to be purchased with the grant, where appropriate (e.g., in terms of quality of products/services available) and feasible (in terms of availability and cost). The meaning of 'local' will depend on the availability of the item or service in question. In some cases, it could mean suppliers located within the fund area, but in others, Mid-Argyll / Oban and Lorn or the West of Scotland may be most appropriate. Applications are required to also meet with Foundation Scotland’s policy on value for money; the preference for local suppliers is simply where requirements set out in that policy have also been met.
  • Collaboration: You have considered how delivering your proposed project in collaboration with other organisations or groups could add value (financial, capability, or other). This might involve working with voluntary, private or public sector bodies that operate at local, regional or national levels to deliver the greatest impact.
  • Building capacity locally: You have considered opportunities to build the skills and knowledge of local people and/or groups benefiting from, or otherwise connected with, the project. This could be through training, mentoring, coaching or peer learning, or any other learning or development opportunity that could be provided through the project.
  • Financial sustainability: if the application is for the costs of a recurring activity (for example, an annual gala or the ongoing running costs for a club or facility), that you have considered how the activity may realistically become sustainable in the future (without the need to rely on Avich Hydro Scheme Community Benefit Fund monies). For example, through volunteer delivery, charges to beneficiaries (balancing this against affordability issues) or some form of trading (selling goods or services).
  • Match funding: that you have demonstrated what other funding your group has explored, secured or is seeking to secure for the project (e.g., local fundraising activity, other grants, crowdfunding).
  • Environmental sustainability: You have considered the potential impacts of your project on the local and global environment and design their project accordingly. The following should be considered: saving energy and water, sourcing heat and power from renewables, re-using and recycling materials or equipment, enabling non-fossil-fuel powered transport to/from activities, conservation of flora and fauna, and education/awareness-raising amongst project beneficiaries.
  • Creating a legacy: projects that are likely to provide lasting benefit to the community and reasonably demonstrate this are likely encouraged.

Who can apply?

Constituted groups and organisations working to benefit people in the fund area can apply. The fund area covers the following post-codes: PA35 1HN; PA35 1HL; PA35 1HH; PA35 1HJ, and PA35 1HS.  A map of the area can be found above in the About this Fund section. Applications from groups/organisations located out-with this area will be considered where they demonstrate a clear benefit for residents within the fund area.

Your group or organisation must also meet Foundation Scotland's Common eligibility criteria. It does not need to be a registered charity to apply.

Applications from private businesses for funding toward projects benefitting the wider community will also be considered. Such applications must be for discrete projects that are charitable in nature, that the business is unable to finance itself, and where any private gain is incidental and clearly outweighed by public benefit. We will request a copy of the business’ latest verified accounts. The fund will not support regular running costs for businesses, nor projects where there is evidence that this would displace any other local business. Private businesses are advised to contact the Fund Manager before applying.

Where appropriate, private businesses should seek to partner with local groups and seek to provide match funding.

What can’t be funded?

Please read through What we can't fund page, these exclusions apply to all Foundation Scotland funds.

How are decisions made?

Recommendations on grant awards are made by a Community Panel of up to seven members, as follows:

  • Two representatives of Dalavich Improvement Group
  • Two representatives of Avich and Kilchrenan Community Council
  • Three representatives of the wider community, appointed on an open and transparent basis

Panel Members serve for between two to four years, retiring on a phased basis, but are eligible to stand again.

Current Panel members are:

Kevin Champion
Elizabeth Foy (Dalavich Improvement Group)
Roberta Lydia-Leitch (Dalavich Improvement Group)
Craig MacKellar
Martin McLaughlin
Elizabeth Stolton (Avich & Kilchrenan Community Council)

The Community Panel meets to make decisions on applications at least once and up to two times per year. Minutes of the latest panel meetings are available on request from the Community Funds Manager.

For further information on how decisions are made please visit How funding decisions are made.

How to apply

Please complete our simple online application form below.  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 online form, please email or call 0131 524 0300 and we can help. 

Frequently asked questions

  • How many applications can I submit?

    There is no limit on the number of applications that any single organisation/group can make. However, there is a preference to ensure the fund benefits as many organisations and people as possible, where the applications received are of sufficient quality. If you are considering making more than one application, we will ask you to tell us which is your highest priority for funding.

  • Can I apply for the costs of activities to be delivered over more than one year?

    Grants will normally be awarded for activity over a period of one year, although grants for activity over a maximum of three years are possible. However, because the amount to be donated to the fund each year is unknown, grants cannot be committed from income anticipated in future years; all grant commitments must be deliverable from monies already held in the fund.

  • What is meant by ‘unduly restrictive membership criteria’?

    This means:

    • Your organisation’s membership criteria should not exclude any individual because of age, disability, race, religion or belief, pregnancy and maternity, marriage and civil partnership, sex, sexual orientation or gender reassignment (known as “protected characteristics” under the Equalities Act 2010), unless this can be justified as follows.
    • Where an organisation restricts membership to people who share one or more of the protected characteristics, the panel will consider an application for funding only if excluding other individuals is objectively justified or is done to prevent or compensate for disadvantages linked to the protected characteristic. For example, it may be justifiable to restrict membership (or services) to women only if a mixed-gender environment would be a barrier to their participation. Or to restrict membership to parents/carers of children if unrestricted membership could realistically pose a risk to children.

Contact information

For application process and technical enquiries

Central Systems Support

For criteria and fund priority enquiries

Debbie Herron Community Funds Adviser