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Community / More grants given out from Viking Energy community fund

PROJECTS from Unst to Fair isle have received grants from the latest round of payments from the Viking Energy community benefit fund.

In Fair Isle the local development company is to receive £1,500 towards buying a fuel bowser and trailer which will allow fuel deliveries around the island.

At the other end of Shetland £500 is going to Unst Partnership for its community skip scheme, while the Wild Skies Shetland charity is also getting £500 towards the cost of a short film about ‘Unst the Asteroid’.

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Nearly £11,000, meanwhile, will be used by the Lunnasting Public Hall to replace two fire doors and repair exterior blockwork.

A spokesman for the hall committee thanked Shetland Community Benefit Fund for the award. “This will enable us to reopen the hall post lockdown and bring the community back together,” he said.

In Foula the local electricity trust is to receive £2,055 for a survey to collect evidence that the island’s wind turbines can be left running during the bird breeding season without impacting on the protected SSSI species there.

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Other grant awards in the past month include £3,000 to the Papa Stour History and Community Group towards its plans to develop the island’s kirk, over £7,400 to replace the fire alarm system at the Voxter Centre and £500 for outdoor play equipment and clothing for the South Mainland Kindergym.

The Papa Stour History and Community Group said: “This project will benefit islanders, other Shetlanders and visitors from further afield, helping to keep Papa Stour a viable community.”

Shetland Community Benefit Fund is tasked with distributing the community benefit money being paid out by the developer of the Viking Energy wind farm, which is currently in construction.

At the moment an advanced grant scheme is running, with £340,000 available in its first year.

The money is split between Shetland’s community councils, which decide on applications made in their area.

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 while the other 14 community councils will have £10,000 each in the first year.

The community benefit payments from Viking owner SSE Renewables will increase to £400,000 a year, and rise to £2.2 million annually once operational.

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