The Community Investment Programme was launched 18 months ago and is the vehicle being used by the Urras to invest funds from the renewables project, back into the communities of the Galson Estate. The programme consists of not only a fund, but also offers advice, guidance and aftercare to support the delivery and development of projects, should applicants require the support.
The programme is open to groups and social enterprises who can demonstrate their projects and ideas deliver against the wider objectives of the charity.
These objectives aim to: Develop skills; Improve health and wellbeing; Relieve poverty; Protect and conserve the environment; Protect and promote heritage and culture; Develop and revitalise growing industry sectors; Support active community engagement.
At present the maximum award which can be applied for is £1000, but this will be set to increase and it is hoped a £5000 fund will open later this year. A total of almost £22,000 has been approved since the fund was launched and that will of course grow as the fund grows with increasing revenues from the wind energy project.
The £1k application process is fairly simple and the turnaround of applications is within four weeks. Applicants are asked to demonstrate how their project delivers against the priority objectives and outline the overall costs of the project, alongside a brief description of the project, project outcomes and its beneficiaries.
In the past 4 months (Jan – April 2016) the following applications for projects have been approved:
Organisation Project Award
WI Community Care Forum Carers Trainers Project £1,000.00
NSRA Ltd Soft Play £1,000.00
Ness Football Club Ness Football Club £100.00
Galson Townships Rabbit Scheme £1,000.00
Ness General Rabbit Scheme £1,000.00
CAM Project - UOG Drystone Wall Training Event 2 £700.00
Taigh Dhonnchaidh Taigh Dhonnchaidh Feis £1,000.00
Lionel School Parent Council P6-7 School Trip £1,000.00
Ness Community Council Defibrillator Fund £1,000.00
Clan MacQuarrie Community Centre Carpark Fund £1,000.00
St Peter's Scottish Episcopal Church St Moulag's Path £1,000.00
Lewis and Harris Youth Grassroots International
Football Association Football Festival £500.00
Mod nan Eilean Siar Local Royal National Mod 2016
Organising Committee £1,000.00
These projects combined costs total almost £150,000 which is significant investment and whilst the Community Investment Fund is still small, in most cases it is a significant percentage of the overall costs and forms an important piece of the project overall funding package total. It has been most encouraging to see the uptake of the fund growing and a variety of projects being taken forward.
For more information on the fund please contact the UOG Business Centre or visit the Urras website.
01851 850393 www.galsontrust.com
Pictured: Taigh Dhonnchaich being awarded their cheque at the recent Feis by Mairi Smith, UOG Director.