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SSEN Transmission set to launch first £2m Community Benefit Fund in September

By Federica Stefani

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SSEN Transmission is preparing to launch its first Community Benefit Fund in September. Picture: Stuart Nicol Photography 2024
SSEN Transmission is preparing to launch its first Community Benefit Fund in September. Picture: Stuart Nicol Photography 2024

SSEN Transmission announced they will soon launch a first round of funding to support communities in the Highlands and the north of Scotland.

Applications for the Community Benefit Fund will open in September with an initial £2 million up for grabs, to deliver over £100m of funding in the future.

This comes after the electricity infrastructure announced yesterday that Sumitomo Electric Industries was starting starting work on their state-of-the-art subsea transmission cable factory at Nigg.

Priority for funding will be given to projects that deliver on people, focusing on skills, training and employability; place, emphasising the community and culture of the north of Scotland, and reducing fuel poverty levels.

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.”

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 24 May.

Ms Logan continued: “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 24 May, we’re looking forward to making an appointment soon.”

The panel will be formed by the chair, three independent advisors and a representative from SSEN Transmission.

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