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Watten Wind Farm Trust

Grant size Up to £10,000
Key dates  
Application deadline : 30th June and 31st December
Decision dates: Early September and late February

About this fund

Watten Wind Farm Trust, formed in partnership between Watten Community Council and Foundation Scotland, has been set up to allow funds from different donors, pledged for the benefit of the Watten community, to be managed in an efficient and effective way. Donors are currently received to the Trust from:

  • Wathegar Wind Farm, owned by Gresham House Asset Management, provides £11,970 (index-linked) each year for the life of the wind farm.
  • Wathegar 2 Wind Farm, owned by Gresham House Asset Management, provides £40,590 (index-linked) each year for the life of the wind farm.
  • Bad a Cheo Wind Farm, owned by RWE, provides £44,416 (index-linked) each year for the life of the wind farm.
  • Bilbster Wind Farm, owned by RWE, provides £1,950 (index-linked) each year for the life of the wind farm.
  • Halsary Wind Farm, owned by ScottishPower Renewables, provides £30,000 (index linked) each year for the life of the wind farm.

Note the RWE Camster Wind Farm Community Fund also covers this community council area and is administered by Foundation Scotland. 

Purpose of this fund

The Trust provides grants to support charitable activities that: 

  • Encourage community activity, promote community spirit, and increase opportunities for socialising
  • Improve the ability of groups/organisations to meet local priorities
  • Improve telephone and broadband connections
  • Provide or improve access to, and enjoyment of, the local environment
  • Provide or improve opportunities for people to develop as individuals, make connections and improve their life chances
  • Provide or improve sports and recreational facilities or activities
  • Encourage economic activity within the fund area

In 2016, an independent consultant was commissioned, funded by Local Energy Scotland, to produce a Community Development Plan. This work helped to identify what the community considers to be the local priorities for investment and what it wanted to see the Watten Wind Farm Trust achieve. The key findings from this exercise have informed the above outcomes.

Additional criteria

Applicants should also demonstrate the following:

  • Local consultation:  That you have consulted with the intended beneficiaries of the project and other local groups and/or businesses as appropriate, and that these are supportive of the proposal. If support for your project is noted in the Watten Community Development Plan this can be considered evidence, and you can mention this. However, further evidence of local consultation would strengthen your application.
  • Partnership working: Where appropriate, applicants should consider whether delivering their project in partnership with other organisations/groups could add value (financial, capability, or other). This could involve working with voluntary, private or public sector bodies that operate at local, regional or national level.
  • Sustainable development: Applicants should consider whether their project will contribute towards sustainable development, including minimising the environmental impact of projects and reducing the ‘carbon footprint’ of the applicant organisation and/or Watten community.
  • Local procurement: Where appropriate, applicants should seek local providers of the goods and services they are seeking a grant towards. However, this should be shown to offer the best value, balancing considerations of cost, availability and quality as appropriate to the specific goods or service in question. 

Where an item/contract will cost above £30,000 an open and fair tendering process will need to be carried out, and evidence of this and your justification for selecting your preferred supplier must be submitted along with your application. Please read our Value for Money policy for more details on what we expect in this situation.

Who can apply?

Groups and organisations working to benefit people in the Watten Community Council 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 located out with the Watten area will be considered on a case-by-case basis and must demonstrate clear benefit for residents within the fund area. 

What can’t be funded?

Information on what the fund cannot support is provided here.

The fund can not support any form of campaigning.

How are decisions made?

Recommendations on awards are made by a local Panel of up to 12 Watten residents, including two Community Councillors. The Panel also advises on fund strategy. 

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 two and four years, retiring on a phased basis to ensure knowledge and expertise are retained. Current Panel members are:

  • Jim Macdonald (Community Council representative)
  • Anne Alexander (Community Council representative)
  • John Sinclair
  • Lesley Anne Young
  • Rosalyn Macdonald
  • David Thomson
  • Liam Swanson
  • Helen Campbell
  • Lindsay Wilson

The Panel normally makes decisions on awards twice per year, in February and August/September. 

Minutes of 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.

If you are interested in joining the Panel please submit your details here and we will contact you.

Frequently asked questions

  • 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 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 etc. You do not need to complete the standard application form for this. If your project has some initial expenses like these, please get in touch with 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 the achievement of fund outcomes in a measurable way, 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 the fund support 100% of project costs?

    Applicants are not required to source any specific proportion of matched funds for their project. However, you should explore other possible funding sources for their project. Awards from the Trust should not displace funding that could be obtained from other sources but should help leverage additional funds if possible. Additionally, the availability of the fund should not reduce community groups’ commitment to organising local activities that contribute to a vibrant community calendar and promote community spirit. 

  • Can I apply for a grant towards costs over several years?

    Yes. Please contact us before applying as additional information will be required for multi-year awards. Multi-year awards are usually offered over a maximum of three years; however, the Panel can consider up to five years where the applicant can demonstrate a need and significant community benefit. Where multi-year funding has been agreed, the release of funding for each year will depend on evidence that your group has 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 activity 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. 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 less or more than the minimum grant amount?

    The RWE Camster Wind Farm Community Fund provides for a micro-grant scheme that offers smaller grants to individuals or groups for charitable activities that will benefit the community.  The scheme is operated by Watten Community Council, please contact them to apply for a micro-grant (see ‘Useful Links’ below).

    Requests for more than £10,000 will be considered where you can provide evidence that your proposal will bring about significant benefit for the community. Please contact us before applying.

How to apply

Complete the online application form. 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 0300 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

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