A £425,000 fund designed to support projects and ideas to benefit the environment and local communities has opened for its fourth round of applications.
Crown Estate Scotland’s Sustainable Communities Fund, set up in 2020, has already delivered around £970,000 in valuable support to people across the country. It consists of two grant programmes:
- Community Capacity Grants - open to all communities within five miles of Scotland’s coastline, or one of Crown Estate Scotland’s four rural estates. Early-stage financial support is available for community projects that will contribute to local regeneration and sustainable development. Grants will range between £20,000 and £50,000, with a total of £300,000 being made available in this year of the programme.
- Environment Grants - available to Crown Estate Scotland tenants, providing grants of between £5,000 and £20,000 for projects which can deliver demonstrable environmental benefits within 18 months of an award being made. A total of £125,000 is available this year.
A wide range of projects and initiatives have benefitted from the Sustainable Communities Fund in recent years. These include:
- Hope Cohousing Community Interest Company, Orkney - The grant is helping to support a long-term plan to provide accessible and affordable rented housing for older people in St. Margaret’s Hope.
- The Three Hares Community Woodland, Midlothian - Establishing a community orchard to provide more biodiversity and educational opportunities around tree growing and importance of fruit trees in nature.
- Ullapool Harbour Trust – Installation of a 32,56kW solar photovoltaic (PV) array, incorporating a 33kWh battery storage unit, with estimated annual CO2 savings of almost 12,000KG.
- Craignish Mooring Association, Argyll - Community-led seagrass planting across 1,000sqm is helping ‘seawilding’ efforts to encourage a wide range of organisms.
Annie Breaden, Head of Policy for Crown Estate Scotland, said: “Over the past three years the Sustainable Communities Fund has provided almost £1m in practical support to an incredible array of projects across Scotland, helping people and their communities.
“We’re now looking for new applications so even more people can source the support to turn their aspirations and ideas into reality.”
Full details on the application process and how grants will be allocated can be found here.
The deadline for Expressions of Interest for the Community Capacity Grants Programme, which is administered by Foundation Scotland, is Monday 26 September. The deadline for the Environment Grants Programme, which is administered by Crown Estate Scotland, is Monday 23 October.