Community Energy Scotland has recently been awarded funding by the Aspiring Community Fund to help support community groups developing renewable energy projects. This funding is targeting the crucial stages of exploring and defining the wider community’s priorities in preparation for renewable projects generating an income, including the planning and short/long term aspirations of those who stay in the community areas. The Aspiring Communities Fund is supported by the European Social Fund (ESF) and Scottish Government. It is being delivered by the Social Justice and Regeneration Division, Scottish Government as Lead Partner for the 2014-2020 ESF Programme.
The funding has provided the necessary resources to enable us to run a Community Engagement Programme for community organisations throughout the Western Isles. Included in the programme will be two workshops focusing on community engagement and community development plans as well as individualised support for up to fifteen groups to carry out their community engagement events. This project also aims to work with existing local energy plans and explore ways in which previous projects have engaged effectively with their community.
We are excited to have the opportunity to support groups to really focus on why they are developing a community energy project and to explore their community’s priorities and needs, and how best to look at tackling these. We are very grateful to the Aspiring Communities Fund for this support and we would urge communities to get in touch with Kathleen MacDonald at Kathleen.firstname.lastname@example.org or 01851 707881/ 08825781674 by the end of March 2019 if they are interested in being part of the programme.