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Stroupster Wind Farm Community Benefit Fund

Grant size Up to £25,000
Key dates  
Application deadlines: 15th March, 15th July, 15th November
Notifications: May (re March deadline), September (re July deadline) and January (re November deadline)

About this fund

This fund supports a wide range of charitable activity and development that principally benefit the residents of the Dunnet & Canisbay Community Council area in Caithness. Approximately 20% of the fund is available for projects or services located outside that area, provided there is clear and evidenced benefit to residents of Dunnet & Canisbay.

The fund is provided by Greencoat UK wind, owner of Stroupster Wind Farm. Starting in March 2016, a donation of £149,500 per year (index-linked) is being made to the fund for the wind farm's operational lifetime. A case study explaining how the fund was set up and its impact is available on the Communities and Renewable Energy Scotland (CARES) website.

Stroupster Wind Farm Community Benefit Fund (Dunnet & Canisbay) also provides for Stroupster Wind Farm Education and Training Fund (Dunnet & Canisbay). This offers bursaries to residents to help them access training and education opportunities that better equip them with the range of skills required to enter into or retain employment.

There is currently a vacancy on the Panel. If you wish to nominate yourself please use this form.

Purpose of this fund

The fund provides grants to support charitable activities that will help achieve the following: 

  1. Improving or giving better access to communications and transport
  2. Improving our community assets and facilities for local people and visitors
  3. Providing opportunities for young people
  4. Providing support and opportunities for older people
  5. Promoting enterprise and tourism
  6. Improving our natural environment and access to it
  7. Improving or giving better access to culture and heritage

If your application does not clearly fit with these outcomes but still meets the community's evidenced needs and shows strong community support, it may be considered where funds allow. 

In 2015, a Community Profile and Plan was developed, setting out what the community considers the local priorities for investment and what it wants the Stroupster Wind Farm Community Benefit Fund to achieve. You can download a copy of the document here.

Additional criteria

Community support: Applicants should provide evidence of community support for their proposed activity or project.

Matched funding: Although applicants are not required to source any specific proportion of matched funds towards their project, priority is likely to be given to applications where funds are being raised from another source, including local fundraising. 

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 or services in question. 

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 Dunnet & Canisbay community.

Who can apply?

Groups and organisations working to benefit people in the Dunnet & Canisbay area 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.

How are decisions made?

Recommendations on awards are made by a Community Panel of up to nine people who live in the Dunnet & Canisbay Community Council area. The panel also advises on fund strategy. 

The panel comprises four representatives from the Dunnet & Canisbay Community Council and five other residents from the area. Opportunities to become a (non-Community Council) panel member are openly advertised when these arise, both locally and on this website.

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

Current Panel members

Community Council representativesLocal resident members
Eric GreenLyall Rennie
Barry ButlerAlexander Ham
Henry GunnDr. Keith Nicholson
Robert JamesJohn Henderson
 Andrew Mowat

The panel normally makes decisions on awards three times per year. Minutes of the latest Panel meetings are available on request from the Community Funds Adviser. Contact details can be found below.

More information on the award making process is available here.

Frequently asked questions

  • Can the fund support the work of groups engaged in campaigning activities? 

    The fund cannot support activities that advance party politics. However, instances may arise whereby groups wish to apply for a grant to support the costs of running a campaign to effect legislative change or prevent local facilities from being closed. Such applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis. 

  • 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 a 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.

    Additionally, the fund offers a swift response to applications for up to £500 for 'project enablement costs' such as fees for planning submissions or the costs of advertising a tender in the local newspaper. You do not need to complete the standard application form for this. If your project has some initial expenses like these, please contact the Community Funds Adviser to discuss this.

  • Can the fund support the cost of salaries?

    Applications towards salaries or wages must show how the position will contribute to measurably achieving fund outcomes, 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.
  • Can I apply for a grant towards costs over several years?

    Requests for funding over a maximum of three years will be considered. You must set out measurable activities for each year and how these will contribute to the fund outcomes. Please contact us before applying as additional information will be required for applications for multi-year grants. Where considering a request for a multi-year grant, the panel will 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 groups have achieved the agreed activities and outcomes for the previous year. 

  • 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 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, provided you can demonstrate that your group has the capacity to manage multiple projects. 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 are made.

  • What if my project needs more than the maximum grant amount?

    Requests for more than £25,000 may be considered on a case-by-case basis where you can provide evidence that your project will be transformational. Please contact us before applying.

How to apply

Please complete the 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 form, please email or call 0131 524 0324, 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

Fund news

Featured case studies

More Stroupster Wind Farm Community Benefit Fund case studies

Read a selection of case studies detailing some of the projects and activities that have received funding from the Stroupster Wind Farm Community Benefit Fund.

This includes £6,395 for Scallywags Nursery to create a new play area.

View case studies
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