Western Isles community fund makes first awards

A community benefit fund paid has awarded a total of £28,000 to three projects.

The Western Isles Development Trust (WIDT) uses contributions from renewable energy projects to help fund local schemes.

The Trust has awarded a grant of £10,000 to complete the installation of solar panels on the roof of Cothrom’s Recycling Centre at Ormiclate, South Uist.

“This funding will help the organisation to become more sustainable in the future,” said Cothrom Manager, Barbara MacDonald.

Western Isles Community Care Forum received a grant of £8,000 towards its Carers’ Trainers Project, which seeks to improve the financial position of carers where possible.

Peggy Mackay of the Western Isles Community Care Forum said: “I am delighted that the Forum has been successful in this grant application which will enable us to continue supporting carers in the community through training and development, which benefits carers and those that they care for.”

And finally, a grant of £10,000 was awarded to the Hebrides Energy Community Interest Company to contribute to initial start up and running costs of the Energy Supply Company over two years, enabling it to deliver a community tariff in partnership with a licensed electricity supplier.

“I am very pleased that the WIDT has been able to fund these projects which reflect the key priorities for us moving forward, particularly in relation to utilising the fantastic renewable opportunities we have here in the Western Isles,” said Trust Chair, Cllr Angus Campbell.

“Given the limited income stream currently available to WIDT, the Board decided to prioritise projects, which meet more than one of its charitable objectives and projects, which utilise or promote renewable energy initiatives.”

Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, specializing in local government, transport and energy issues