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SSEN Transmission announces community benefit fund launch date for the north of Scotland

By David Porter

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SSEN Transmission has announced the community benefit fundi launch date for the north of Scotland.

SSEN Transmission's Tealing Emmock PAC event saw staff discussing the ongoing projects with locals.
SSEN Transmission's Tealing Emmock PAC event saw staff discussing the ongoing projects with locals.

The SSEN Transmission community fund will open for applications on September 1, with an initial £2m up for grabs, to start bringing positive benefits to communities across the north of Scotland now, with the aim of delivering over £100m of funding in the future.

From September 1, community groups in the north of Scotland will be able to apply for funding from an initial £2m that is being released from the company’s opening £10m community benefit fund, which covers in-flight projects that are already being delivered.
And looking forward, based on SSEN Transmission’s ambitious £20bn ‘Pathway to 2030’ investment programme, and initial indication from the UK Government on the anticipated scale of community benefit funding, the company expects the overall value of its community benefit fund to exceed £100m, creating a huge opportunity to maximise the transformative impact that new electricity transmission developments can have in the region.

Following extensive consultation in 2023, the company has also confirmed that priority for funding will be given to projects that deliver on three identified themes:

People: focusing on skills, training and employability;

Place: emphasising the community and culture of the north of Scotland; and

Reducing fuel poverty levels.

SSEN Transmission is now looking to recruit a Panel Chair to lead on strategic decision-making for the new regional fund, who will assist in finalising processes and criteria for applications and ensure fairness and transparency. The application window for the role is open until Friday May 24

To ensure that a robust assessment of applications is made to the fund, the panel will be formed of the following members:

The Chair of the Panel;

Three other independent advisors: leading experts in diverse fields that reflect the core themes of the fund; and

A representative from SSEN Transmission.

Christianna Logan, SSEN Transmission’s Director of Customers and Stakeholders, said: “We’re delighted to announce the launch of our community fund in September, with an initial regional pot of £2m of funding available from current projects to get the ball rolling. This is just the start as our ‘Pathway to 2030’ investment programme is a £20bn investment in new electricity transmission infrastructure, and we anticipate the associated overall value of our community benefit fund between now and 2030 to exceed £100m based on indications from the UK Government on the anticipated scale of community benefit funding. That will be massive in ensuring that communities across the north of Scotland see a tangible and lasting benefit from hosting this critical national infrastructure, and, subject to final Government guidance and regulatory approval, we will work with those communities to maximise the transformative impact our fund can have. Recruiting the right person to Chair the fund is a particularly important next step in setting this all up for success, and with applications open until May 24, we’re looking forward to making an appointment soon.”

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