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Community / Lerwick Community Council approves first grant applications through wind farm benefit fund

The Staney Hill Hall is in line for an upgrade. Photo © Google 2020

THE FIRST grant applications to come through Lerwick Community Council from the Viking Energy wind farm benefit fund have been approved.

North Staney Hill Community Association applied for £4,500 for repairs and upgrades to the Staney Hill Hall, while the Royal Voluntary Service asked for £500 for social activity for its clients.

Both applications were approved in full at a meeting of Lerwick Community Council on Monday night.

The applications were for cash delivered by the Shetland Community Benefit Fund, which disburses disturbance money from the developer of the Viking Energy wind farm.

Its small grants scheme is now in operation and each of Shetland’s community councils have been given a share. A total of £340,000 is available in the first year for community projects across the isles.

The four community councils with Viking turbines in its areas – Delting, Tingwall, Whiteness and Weisdale, Nesting and Lunnasting and Sandsting and Aithsting – will have £50,000 available for projects this year while the other 14 community councils will have £10,000 each.

The community councils have the final say on whether grant applications are approved.

Some of the work needed at the Staney Hill Hall is “much needed repair and maintenance”, but there is also a hope to make it a more “cheerful and comfortable environment” to encourage folk back after the pandemic.

The Royal Voluntary Service said it would like to “provide a social activity for our clients such as a bus run, provide transport to go out for a meal or visit another social club” once restrictions allow.

Community councillor Jessie Williamson commented that this was an “amazingly worthwhile spend”.