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First Beatrice Partnership Fund awards totalling £378,000 announced

9th June 2017

We are making our first round of awards to support transformational projects in Caithness, Sutherland and Moray from the £6m Beatrice Community Fund.

The first round has seen an initial sum of £378,000 donated to 14 different projects across the north of Scotland. These include the Morayvia science and technology centre and the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Centre in Moray which received grants of £50,000 and £46,544 respectively.

Another beneficiary of the fund is the iconic Covesea Lighthouse in Moray (pictured) which has received £40,000 to enable the community owned landmark to complete an Education and Heritage Centre. Built in 1846, the 36 metre high lighthouse guided ships away from danger during 166 years of distinguished service until 2012, when its light was finally extinguished.

The announcement of the first round of awards was made at the lighthouse on Thursday 1 June 2017.

Franziska Smith, Director of Covesea Lighthouse Community Company, said: "Without this grant from the Beatrice Partnership Fund, Covesea Lighthouse Community Company would have been unable to complete our new Education and Heritage Centre at this time. This funding will help us build the last brick in the wall of a £390,000 project which will enhance the experience of all the visitors to the Lighthouse."

Fraser Grieve, Chair of the Beatrice Partnership Fund independent Panel, added: "We had some incredibly strong applications for funding come forward and it's great to see a whole manner of projects benefit that will all make a contribution to their communities. Each project brings something different to their area but all of them will hopefully have a positive impact on the lives of those living there."

The Beatrice Community Investment Fund is worth a total of £6m and is being distributed over a five year period from 2017 in Moray and the Highlands.

The Beatrice Partnership Fund is the ‘regional' element of the Beatrice Fund and is open to charities, not-for-profit and community groups from the coastal regions of Caithness and Sutherland (Highland) and Moray.

The fund supports strategic projects that can deliver significant impacts in local communities. The fund priority areas are broadly to: enhance education and employment opportunities, support communities through projects that bring social or environmental benefits and help regeneration whether in landscape, biodiversity or heritage.

The full list of Partnership Fund awards:

MORAY
£50,000 Morayvia

Morayvia is a science and technology centre in Moray which records the long and fascinating history of military aviation in the area. It currently has limited facilities and the grant will allow the centre to increase capacity from 30 to 160 which will help serve local schools, clubs, visitors and societies.

£46,544 Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society

For the installation of a new biomass boiler which will allow the centre to improve their heating and significantly improve the centre's capacity as a visitor attraction and educational resource by opening an additional three months of the year. It also allows the contracts of seasonal staff to be extended.

£12,500 REAP

To fund a part-time energy advisor for a two year period who will train seven volunteer champions based in Keith, Buckie and Lossiemouth. The champions will promote opportunities to tackle fuel poverty.

£15,076 Skill Force Development (Scotland)

To deliver an education and mentoring programme for 40 young people to reduce the chances of them not being in education, employment or training.

£40,000 Covesea Lighthouse

For the internal fit-out of an education and heritage centre which is adjacent to the Covesea Skerries Lighthouse in Lossiemouth

£10,327 Alves Hall

Contribution to the cost of upgrading the village hall, which is the designated emergency hub for the local area. The funding also allows for the purchase of a defibrillator.

£15,000 Keith and Dufftown Railway Association

To replace the existing wooden sleepers with concrete sleepers to reinforce the line between Drummuir and Keith. The funding will focus on a 2 mile stretch of that line over a 24 month period.

HIGHLAND

£33,333 The Embo Trust

To renovate the old school for use as a community hub with multi-purpose hall, meeting room, cafe and community shop - funding the last piece of the jigsaw. First funding came from SSE’s Highland Sustainable Development Fund.

£30,864 Engaging with Activity

To employ a co-ordinator over a two year period who will develop and deliver a project to combat loneliness at the Brora Wellbeing Hub and in the wider community. Funding is also available for an information pack for service users and the training of volunteers.

£12,368 Ormlie Community Association

To deliver family support service improving the life chances of mums and their children and provide internet access to vulnerable members of the Wick community who struggle with literacy.

£29,918 Garbh Allt Community Initiative

For the purchase of four crofting townships near Helmsdale from the Sutherland Estates; and the development of tourist opportunities on the land facilitated by a part-time employment of a development officer. Final piece of the jigsaw.

£36,000 Pultneytown People’s Project

Delivery of a social care project which includes employment of a co-ordinator and a modern apprentice. Training volunteers to backfill the gap which has been identified through the failure of existing staff to meet the existing requirements.

£25,045 Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust

Purchase of an electric vehicle which will facilitate the delivery of a number of projects in their area, including the energy efficiency project and the Falls of Shin. This vehicle will assist with the sustainability of these projects and reduce the CO2 as per the aims of the Trust.

£21,651 Friends of John O’Groats Trail

To assist with the construction elements of two paths which are beyond the capabilities of their volunteers. The paths are part of the development of a route on the east coast of Sutherland from Brora to John O’Groats, Caithness and the area that the funding will concentrate on is Whaligoe to Old Man of Wick Castle and Badbea to Ousdale.

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