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£1 million of funding available to drive net zero ambitions in the Scottish Highlands

13 Oct 2021

Picture caption: Jim Smith, Managing Director, SSE Renewables and Ian Blackford MP visit Raasay Development Trust.The Trust previously received an award of £300k from The Highland Sustainable Development Fund for its community owned hydro project.

A £1 million fund to help drive the net zero ambitions of communities in the Highlands has been opened by SSE Renewables. With COP26 happening in Scotland this year, the eyes of the world are focussed on our sustainable future and the fund is available to help the Highlands to realise their ambitions for a low carbon future.

The Highland Sustainable Development Fund is open to non-profit making organisations, community groups and charities across the Highland region. Successful projects will have the potential to deliver transformational social, economic and environmental changes in the local area and to support long-term community development. With the focus being on projects that support a low carbon future, it is expected that successful applications will complement Highland Council’s net zero ambitions in the region.

The fund has previously invested £5.6m in the Highland region to support transformational projects, including an award of £300k to the Isle of Raasay Development Trust to contribute to a community owned hydro project. This will reduce fuel poverty and improve energy efficiency on Raasay.

"With significant support from the SSE Renewables Sustainable Development Fund, Raasay has been able to take forward our communities’ vision of generating sustainable, renewable energy."

Elizabeth Macleod Development Officer for Raasay Development Trust

Ian Blackford, MP for Ross, Skye and Lochaber, said:

“I’ve seen at first hand the transformational benefit of this funding to the Raasay community which is aiming to become a net-zero island. The Highland Sustainable Development Fund provided an enormous boost to this project and I would urge other groups in the Highlands with ideas for sustainable projects to apply for this funding.”

"The project at Raasay is an excellent example of a community taking action to secure their own future. We hope that the projects coming forward to this round of the Fund will be ambitious in their contribution to a net zero future for the Highlands."

Lord Jack McConnell Chair of the Sustainable Development Fund

Jim Smith, Managing Director at SSE Renewables, said: “SSE Renewables is proud to be supporting Scotland’s net zero future, which includes our sponsorship of COP26 and the construction of new wind farms in the Highlands. The Sustainable Development Fund will play an important role for the low carbon future of the region.”

The deadline for applications to the Sustainable Development Fund is Noon on Wednesday 19 January 2022.

The application form and further information can be found at