PR Grant Awards March 2018

PRESS RELEASE CNSF2018PR029 (13/03/2018)


Community groups across Caithness and north Sutherland have gained more than £178,000 from a local fund’s recent awards.  The Caithness & North Sutherland Fund, which is provided by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), has held two funding rounds since October and awarded money to eleven projects.

Jim MacGregor, CNSFund Chair said, “It is an objective of the CNSFund to support activity that delivers added value or additionality and our aim is to focus on projects that will achieve environment, social, culture or infrastructure improvements.  Our latest funding rounds saw the CNSFund commit over £178k towards a wide range of development projects throughout the Dounreay travel to work area.   At our AGM, the directors commended the development work that is already being carried out in our communities, and we continue to encourage groups to come forward with proposals that will enhance the Caithness and North Sutherland area.”

Lyth Arts Centre Ltd was given £20,000 for an outreach programme and marketing work which will increase the arts and cultural offer in Caithness and north Sutherland.  The programme includes professional arts performance events to be held in numerous village halls and community venues and production of a comprehensive marketing, tourist and visitor engagement programme.

Tom Barnes, Lyth Arts Centre Co-Director said “Lyth Arts Centre is thrilled to have the support of the Caithness and North Sutherland Fund to roll out a programme of cultural activity across the region over the next two years. Building on our previous work with a number of village halls, we will be bringing amazing professional music, theatre and much more to the entire region, right into the heart of local communities. We look forward to working in partnership with local communities to deliver a sustained improvement to the arts and cultural offer available throughout the area.”

No Limits Caithness was granted £10,000 for the support group’s ‘Life Skills Project’.  This project focuses on helping young people with additional support needs to develop essential life skills.   Numerous other activities will also be carried out aimed at aiding the development and inclusion of the youngsters.

Thurso Golf Club was awarded £10,000 towards a programme of refurbishments to its club house. Improvements will be made to the club house insulation, heating and lighting, lounge, bar, kitchen, and seating as well as the installation of an indoor golf simulator for use during the winter weather.

Dunbeath & District Centre was awarded £5,510 for a range of improvements to the community care centre including refurbishing floor coverings, seating, decoration, lighting and installing a large-screen television in the lounge area.  This community health and wellbeing centre delivers flexible inter-generational community-based services promoting community cohesion, social integration, healthy living and lifelong learning.

Lieurary Hall Committee was granted £30,000 towards cost of refurbishing the Lieurary Hall.  The committee will refurbish all three roof elements of the hall and improve the roof design structure to help ensure the long-term sustainability of a valued community facility.

Tongue Play Park Committee was awarded £30,000 towards the costs of refurbishing the play park in Tongue.   The money will be spent on new, modern play equipment, resurfacing and fencing works and will bring a long-term improvement to the recreational play park provision in the village.

Caithness Voluntary Group – Befriending Caithness was awarded £26,738 to develop and deliver its Befriending Caithness 40-60yrs service and improve the quality of life for a vulnerable group of people in Caithness.  The service will offer supportive reliable relationships through volunteer befrienders to people who are referred to the service.   These individuals have become isolated because of ill health, disability or social disadvantage.

North Coast Connections secured a grant of £15,932 towards the cost of a two-year outreach project which will reduce social isolation by improving access to the Kyle Centre services in Tongue for those in the community who are hard to reach.  This will be done by increasing the Centre’s opening times and appointing an outreach worker to engage with clients referred to the new service. The project is aimed at improving the conditions of life for vulnerable and isolated members of the north Sutherland community, giving better opportunities for social interaction and involvement in inter-generational community-based activities.

Pulteneytown People’s Project was awarded £14,398 to help establish and develop an Older People Lunch Club Project at the Pulteney Community Centre in Wick.   The club will offer a wide range of structured activity as well as games and activities that help maintain an active mind.  The sessions will be supported by volunteers undertaking the centre’s New Beginnings Course which helps people who have been in long term unemployment, or those who need to develop their skills, so they can gain work within the care sector.

Transport for Tongue Ltd received £9,723 towards the cost of purchasing a new 17-seater minibus that will be fitted with a hydraulic tail lift to provide wheelchair access for people with mobility difficulties.  This will enable the rural community transport group improve its community transport service and increase connectivity, service flexibility and access.

Bunillidh Thistle Football Club was granted £6,126 towards the cost of buying and installing new mobile dugout shelters.  The new shelters are just one of a range of improvements to be done at the Couper Park football grounds in Helmsdale so that football matches can be hosted in the village throughout the year.

The CNSFund is funded by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and distributes cash to community organisations leading projects that will increase the attractiveness of Caithness and north Sutherland as a place to live, work and invest. The Fund has a particular emphasis on achieving environment, social, culture and infrastructure improvements.  Applications are assessed on a quarterly basis and information on how to apply can be found at or by contacting the Fund Coordinator David Shearer on  Tel: 07841 204 982.