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Whiteside Hill Education and Training Fund

Grant size Up to £1,500
Dumfries and Galloway
Key dates Applications are welcome at any time.

About this fund

This fund provides bursaries to residents of the Kirkconnel & Kelloholm and Royal Burgh of Sanquhar and District Community Council areas to help them access training and education opportunities that better equip them with the range of skills needed to enter or retain employment. The fund is provided by Whiteside Hill Wind Farm Community Fund

The maximum award is:

  • First time applicants: up to £1,500
  • Second time applicants: up to £1,000
  • Any further applications: up to £300 per year.

Similarly, if your course runs over several years, any award will be capped at:

  • First year of study: up to £1,500 
  • Second year of study: up to £1,000 
  • Any further year of study: up to £300 per year

Purpose of this fund

The Whiteside Hill Education & Training Fund is to improve the opportunities and livelihoods of people living in Kirkconnel & Kelloholm and Sanquhar & District. Courses leading to formal or recognised qualifications will be favoured. However, other courses will be considered where you can demonstrate how the skills and knowledge gained will realistically support you in securing or retaining work. As well as course costs, subsistence, childcare and equipment required to access your educational opportunity can be requested, however as the purpose of these would be to facilitate learning, requests would be expected to be proportional to the length and impact of the course. 

Courses supported can be on a full time or part-time basis and may be: Apprenticeships, Modern Apprenticeships, Foundation Apprenticeships, SVQs, NCs, HNCs, HNDs, undergraduate degrees, postgraduate qualifications (excl. PhDs), short vocational courses and other courses that meet the fund purpose. 

Additional criteria

Awards can cover costs that are directly related to attending your course or apprenticeship, including:

  • Course fees, where these costs cannot be waived or funded through any other means
  • Study aids and equipment (e.g., laptops, software, stationery). A cap of £500 will normally be applied for support towards the purchase of laptops to support course studies unless you can demonstrate a genuine educational need for IT equipment of a higher spec.
  • Technical aids/equipment e.g., specialist clothing relating to the course, tools, other specialist equipment.
  • Travel and subsistence costs e.g., bus, train or petrol, meals etc.
  • Accommodation costs 
  • Childcare costs to allow you to study
  • Driving lessons and driving theory test can be funded where it is not possible to access your course by public transport, or if you have a firm offer of a new or enhanced job opportunity that would require you to learn. A key purpose of the Whiteside Hill Wind Farm Community Fund is to support projects that bring economic benefits to Upper Nithsdale, and as part of this, there is a strong preference to support activities that utilise local suppliers. On this basis "Crash Course" driving lessons are not considered a fit with the programme. A cap of £500 will normally be applied for support towards driving lessons.

You must provide information on the full costs that you need to meet in relation to the course. For example, if you are a first-time applicant taking a week-long course that costs £400, you will only be able to apply for £400 plus related travel & subsistence. And if you receive funding from elsewhere, for example, £100 towards the course fees, you will only be able to apply for £300.

Study location:
We recognise that the fund area has limited further education opportunities. However any course being undertaken locally will be looked upon more favourably than a course that requires you to leave the area. By local, we would generally mean south and central Scotland.

If you are applying for costs linked with an apprenticeship arrangement you must be employed within the fund area. 

Who can apply?

  • The fund is open to individuals aged 16 or over and living in the Kirkconnel & Kelloholm or the Royal Burgh of Sanquhar and District Community Council areas. 
  • Your application must be for the purpose of increasing your employment potential. 
  • Apprentices can apply for costs that cannot be claimed back from their employer or another source.
  • Students attending secondary school but also college for part of their week are eligible to apply for a bursary. However, the Trustees will only be able to consider costs that are not covered by statutory provision, i.e. through the school, the college, or the local authority. 

What can’t be funded?

  • You cannot apply for funding for any costs incurred before a decision can be made on your application (retrospective funding). 
  • We will not fund training or equipment that your employer should be providing for you or that is necessary for you to carry out your current job. 
  • Apprentices cannot apply for any cost that can be claimed back from their employer or another source. 

How are decisions made?

Foundation Scotland will review your application and may contact you for further information.  It is then passed to a community board of Trustees of the Upper Nithsdale Community Trust who advise on all funding decisions.  The result will be sent to you by email.

Frequently asked questions

  • When should I apply?

    You should apply as soon as you are sure that you are going to take the course and have been accepted onto it. We will normally respond to your application between six and eight weeks after the application deadline. Please tell us about any important dates relating to your course, for example, registration or start date, or the date for a decision about any other funding towards it. If you need a response sooner than this, please get in touch with us as soon as you can. We will do our best to turn your application around in good time.

  • What evidence do I need to provide?

    This will depend on the course you are looking to take. Some may need to be provided to us along with your application (as set out in the application form), some periodically through the term of your award and some upon completion of your course. Examples include:

    • Your offer letter or confirmation of a place on the course.
    • A letter from a prospective employer.
    • Quotations for equipment.
    • A copy of your attendance record or statement by someone from the educational institution confirming you have been attending regularly, and
    • A copy of your qualification certificate.

    You may not have these documents at the time of application but will need to provide them when you can. Evidence of expenditure (receipts or invoices) will not be required as a matter of course but may be requested in some circumstances, for example, if you are awarded funding to buy a laptop. Please keep any relevant receipts for up to 12 months.

  • How likely am I to get this award?

    If the fund is oversubscribed then we may not be able to offer an award to every applicant, or we may not be able to award everyone the full amount requested.

  • What are my responsibilities?

    If you are offered an award you will need to sign and return a Grant Acceptance Form. This states that you must spend the award as described in your application form. If your plans change you will need to let us know as soon as possible. It may be possible for you to retain the award, for example, if you intend to switch courses, or if you fund another training provider offering a better deal. But you must tell us your circumstances have changed in the first instance. You will also be required to provide some feedback on your experiences to demonstrate the impact of the support you received from the fund. 

  • How is the grant award paid?

    We will pay your award to you electronically by bank transfer. You will need to provide a bank statement that shows your name, address, account number and sort code. In some cases, we can pay your education or training provider directly; if this would suit your circumstances please let us know.

How to apply

Applications are submitted online using the link 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.
  • Evidence of your home address - this could include a driving licence, SAAS letter or a bill (for example for your mobile phone). Any official letter (for example from the Scottish Exam Board, school correspondence, NHS appointment letters, tax letters or a payslip). If you are at college or university, they may be able to provide something suitable.

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.

If you have already started an application and not completed it, please login here to resume. 

Contact information

For application process and technical enquiries

Central Systems Support

For criteria and fund priority enquiries

Donna Adams-Allen Community Funds Adviser

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