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Vattenfall Unlock Our Future Fund

Grant size Up to £30,000
Aberdeen City
Key dates  
Reopening: Spring 2022

About this fund

The Vattenfall Unlock our Future Fund supports projects in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire contributing towards a climate smart future.

The fund is provided by the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre, which is owned and operated by Aberdeen Offshore Wind Farm Limited, a subsidiary of Vattenfall.

Vattenfall contributes £150,000 per year to the fund (as at 2019) rising in line with the Retail Price Index for the life of the wind farm, which is expected to be at least 20 years.  10% of the overall value of the fund (£15,000 in the first year) is set aside for project activity meeting the fund priorities in Blackdog, the community hosting the substation for the wind farm. 

Read more about the difference the fund is making - see useful links below.

Grant Size

  • Small grants up to £2,000
  • Large grants from £2,001 to £15,000 for a single year with the possibility of awards of up to £30,000 for projects running across three years. 

Purpose of this fund

The overall purpose of the fund is to support charitable activity that addresses at least three of the following criteria:

  • contribute to a climate smarter world with sustainability at its core
  • invest in community facilities and activities that are fit for the future and are environmentally sustainable, especially community spaces and transport
  • support creative solutions
  • ensure a legacy and lasting impact, which clearly brings benefit to the local community

Additional criteria

Applications will be stronger if they can meet some or all of the following themes:

  • Local procurement – goods or services purchased with the grant will be sourced from as close to your project as possible
  • Strengthening community partnerships
  • Capacity building locally
  • Leverage or match funding
  • Enhancing quality of life for all
  • Taking a holistic approach which takes into consideration the ‘energy hierarchy’. This emphasises the importance of reducing energy demand as well as investment in renewables in moving towards a low carbon future.

Who can apply?

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

What can’t be funded?

Information on what the fund cannot support is provided here

In addition, the fund will not support projects that fail to take account of their environmental impact or do not have a positive environmental impact.

Only alterations to village halls and community centres that will improve their environmental sustainability are likely to be funded. We strongly recommend making use of independent advisory services such as Zero Waste Scotland when planning energy efficiency improvements to buildings, to ensure any grant award will make the greatest difference possible.

One-off events or trips are unlikely to be funded unless there is shown to be a clear lasting legacy as a result.

How are decisions made?

Each Panel member serves for up to four years, with members retiring on a phased basis to ensure knowledge and expertise are retained. 

The Panel advises Foundation Scotland on which projects are to receive grants from the fund. It also advises on changes to the fund Strategy and works with Foundation Scotland to promote the fund and to share more widely the benefits of the projects being supported.

Current Panel members are:

  • Susan Osbeck (Chair)
  • Liz Hodge
  • Lori Manson
  • Morag McCorkindale
  • Rob Clunas

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

Further information on how decisions are made can be found here.

How to apply

Online applications forms for the next round of funding will be made available here in Spring 2022. If you have any questions in the meantime, please get in touch with Bea (details below). 

Contact information

Contact name

Bea Jefferson, Community Funds Coordinator

Fund news

Fund case studies

Read a selection of case studies detailing some of the projects and activities that have received funding from the Vattenfall Unlock Our Future Fund.

These include energy-efficient renovations to Newburgh Hall, electric transport solutions for several local organisations, and solar panels at a local sailing club.

View case studies