The Parish of Stow, comprising the villages of Stow and Fountainhall and the surrounding hamlets and houses, benefits from a variety of funding and grant monies. These are available to all in the community. Information on the background to the funds is included below. Depending on the requirements of your project or group, funding may be available from any one of the following sources.
How the Community Council is funded and what funding it can offer
- The CC receives an annual grant of £630 from the Scottish Borders Council. The accounts are professionally audited. The CC has a number of regular annual payments that it honours, for example: poppies for Remembrance Day, Fountainhall Christmas Party, community website maintenance fee. This grant means that the CC can cover basic operating costs and offer small awards for items of community benefit, as the examples above.
- The CC is also in receipt of annual funds from the two windfarms that benefit the Parish of Stow. £2,500 comes from EDF (via Foundation Scotland) and £1,000 comes from SSE (directly). This annual total is £3,500. The purpose of this small fund is to supply micro-grants to the community where a small amount of money can help make something happen without the need for a long wait and completion of application forms. The maximum that anyone can apply for is £250. Applicants do not need to be a constituted group but the project needs to demonstrate that it is of direct benefit to the community. Application is via letter addressed to Jenny Mushlin, Secretary of the Community Council, 18 Fleming Place, Fountainhall, Galashiels, TD1 2TA and the application will be discussed at the next CC meeting which is held on the first Monday of every month.
- The CC only receives funds from the two sources above, the SBC grant for operating costs and the Windfarm funds for the micro-grant scheme. For any other funds the CC has to apply like any other constituted group. For example, the CC applied for a grant of £1,800 to cover printing costs for the quarterly community newsletter for two years.
Windfarm Funding for Parish of Stow
- Toddleburn Windfarm: proceeds are split between the CC areas of Stow, Heriot and Oxton. This is administered directly by SSE (Ciara Wilson 0141 224 7248 firstname.lastname@example.org) The amount is approximately £18,000 per annum.
- Longpark Windfarm: this windfarm sits entirely within the Parish of Stow and the approximate amount of £45 – 50,000 per annum comes entirely to the Parish. These funds are administered through Foundation Scotland. (Rachel 0141 341 4961 email@example.com)
- The responsibility of reading and assessing and awarding grants from these funds on behalf of the community rests with the Windfarm Community Benefit Fund Panel. There are six members. Two representatives from the Community Council sit on the panel, Diana Muir and Tommy Miller. The four elected members are Jessica Troughton, Stuart Anderson, Jane Ellis and Victor Crawford.
Applying for Funding from the Windfarm Benefit Fund
- Application for grants should be made in time for the grant call dates which are advertised in the community newsletter, on the community website, and on the fund providers’ websites.
- Application is via a simple, straightforward application form that is downloaded from the fund provider’s website
- Only constituted groups can apply.
- Projects requiring funding should be able to demonstrate direct community benefit. To confirm a project’s eligibility applicants are encouraged to get in touch with the Benefit Panel members at a Community Council meeting, notifying the Secretary, Jenny Mushlin, beforehand – please telephone: 01578 760297.
- Because there are two sources of funds, applicants are asked to note the following:
- For grants between £250 – £5000, please apply for the funds from SSE.
- For grants of more than £5000, please apply for funds from Foundation Scotland.
- It is very difficult to specify a maximum amount for grants. The fund is topped up with its annual income every year and so the fund is more flush at the beginning of the year than at the end. However, unspent funds are rolled forward. Applications will be considered on comparative benefit to the community.
- Applications can be made for projects that will run over more than one year.
One-off payment of £27,000
In 2011, Toddleburn Windfarm (SSE) offered a one-off payment of £27,000 to the Community Council to be used on an eco-friendly project. No particular project materialised to take advantage of this and so the public discussion on 29th April 2013 considered how this might be spent. The requirement that the project should be eco-friendly had been lifted. As there was no one project ready and eligible to take advantage of this lump sum, but there were several worthy projects in the planning, Tommy Miller, Chair of the Windfarm Benefit Fund, proposed that this sum of £27,000 be added into the general Windfarm Benefit Fund. This was agreed unanimously by people present.