An annual fund of £20,000 has been set up to support community projects in and around Keith which help the environment.
Local groups, including schools, have until July 12th to apply for between £500 and £20,000 in full.
The Keith Greener Grid Park Community Fund was created by Statkraft, which is based in Oslo and says it is the largest generator of renewable energy in Europe.
A local committee has been set up with representatives from Keith Community Council, Strathisla Community Council and Moray Council to help prioritize which applications to support.
Final decisions will be reached in early September, with the funds being managed by a specialist company called GrantScape, who have a proven track record of distributing funds to community projects across the UK.
Callum Stewart, of Keith Community Council, said: “The Keith Greener Grid Trust will provide £20,000 per annum for distribution to major causes in the area that will bring direct benefits to our community.
“It is an added bonus that the fund will help us focus on reducing carbon dioxide and there is a wide range of potential ways in which this could be done.
“In these challenging economic times, it is good to have positive news of an influx of new annual funding.
“We thank Statkraft for making this available and we look forward to working with GrantScape to identify worthy projects in our region.”
Murray Council Member Teresa Cole (Keith and Cullen, SNP) said: “This new funding is welcome and it is right that companies like Statkraft work to bring benefits to the communities in which they operate.
“I know that many organizations and projects in our community will put this funding to good use. The fact that the fund will help with the bigger picture of climate change and achieve net zero goals for many years to come is an added bonus.”
As part of a £20m contract involving the Scottish Government, Statkraft has installed two giant ‘flying wheels’ near the SSEN transport substation on the eastern edge of Keith.
This was done to better control the flow to citizens of renewable energy generated by wind turbines.
Jay Nicholson of Statkraft has stated that his company has a “neighborly spirit” and is always striving to help the communities in which it operates.
“We would like to thank the Keith Community Council and advisors Donald Gatt and Teresa Cole, who worked with GrantScape to make the Keith Greener Grid Park Community Fund a reality,” he added.
Among Statkraft’s other operations in Murray is the Perry Byrne wind farm eight miles south of Forse.
Plans are also underway for Craig Watch Wind Farm, about five miles southeast of Dufftown.
Examples of projects that may be considered for grants from the Keith Greener Grid Park Community Fund include:
- Energy efficiency audits of buildings and community facilities
- Costs associated with thermal insulation, solar panels and battery storage, underfloor heating, double/triple glazing improvements, more efficient heating and micro wind turbines
- Educational activities that promote the net zero movement, such as school trips to renewable facilities, or workshops and events
- Training volunteer and community groups to help reduce their carbon footprint
- Preserving wildlife or planting trees
- Installing an electric vehicle charging point in public places
Matching funding will not be required for applications of less than £5,000.
Any amount higher than that would require the organization to provide a minimum of 20% itself, although the cash would not need to be secured prior to placing the order.
Requests can be submitted at grants scape. org.uk/fund/statkraft/keith
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