More than 360 not for profit groups have benefitted from community investment funds created through SSE’s onshore wind and hydro developments totalled over £4.5m in the last financial year, a new report has shown.
Providing support for small businesses and not-for-profit groups across Britain – often in some of the country’s most fragile rural areas – the full impact of the renewable energy funds is detailed in SSE’s first community investment annual review.
The report finds that for every £ awarded by SSE through its renewable energy funds, recipients sourced an additional £2 in match-funding from other sources.Award decisions on local funds were taken by independent community panels.
SSE Chief Executive, Alistair Phillips-Davies said:“ SSE is a business that provides the energy people need. To do this, we must work with communities as a responsible neighbour, going beyond the minimum and becoming an active contributor in the places we operate.
“SSE is a responsible developer and has played a large part in setting the standard for community investment in the renewable energy industry. With the ongoing help of our panel members I look forward to seeing our funding create jobs, enhance facilities and enable community regeneration for decades to come.”
The largest award was made to Biggar Museum Trust, which received £650,000 from the Clyde wind farm fund towards the construction of a new visitor centre. Other notable awards include a £400,000 grant to support Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) studies across Highland schools and a £75,000 grant to enable the community buy-out of Aberfeldy town hall in Perthshire.
Over £1million in grants went to skills and employment projects, including a £266,902 award to the Routes to Inclusion employment programme in South Lanarkshire and over £110,000 to three local apprenticeship schemes operating in the Great Glen, the Cairngorms National Park and Sutherland.
All of SSE’s new onshore wind farms receive a community investment fund of £5,000 per megawatt of installed capacity, comprising:
· £2,500 per megawatt for local community projects; and
· £2,500 per megawatt for a regional fund, titled the Sustainable Development Fund.
In England, wind farms at Keadby and Tilbury generated a funding pot of £100,000 during the period.