PR Grant Awards 2021-R3

PRESS RELEASE CNSF2021PR040 (28/09/2021)

CNSFUND LATEST GRANTS SUPPORTS NEW FACILITIES

The Caithness & North Sutherland Fund has recently awarded two grants that will help to create new facilities to enhance outdoor recreation and learning activities.

Wick Golf Club has been granted £30,000 towards the costs of creating a new workshop and coaching facility at the Wick Golf Club grounds.  The new building will be used to support the golf club’s machinery and maintenance requirements as well as being used for indoor coaching.

Wick Golf Club Captain Alistair Mackay said “The CNSFund grant award is fantastic news and is a major step forward to progressing our much needed facility.  Over the years we have continued to make improvements to the golf course and our equipment, which has meant that we now need to expand our existing workshop provision.  The new facility will ensure that we can continue to maintain our course grounds efficiently and to the high standards expected with a golf course.  It will also enable us to offer indoor coaching which will greatly enhance our junior tutoring, especially over the winter period and in turn will also help to support the club’s long term sustainability.”

 Crossroads Primary School Parent Forum was awarded £6,905 to help with the costs of creating a new outdoor activities facility within the rural school’s playground.  The facility will consist of a classroom cabin structure and will be used to provide a wide range of extra-curricular outdoor activities to support young people’s development.

Crossroads Primary children extra-curricular gardening activities

Kerry Mackenzie, Crossroads Primary School Parent Forum Chair said.  “We were overwhelmed by the support that we have received from the CNSFund.  After applying, the fund encouraged us to consider a better facility that would offer the children a more meaningful outdoor learning environment.  We are now looking forward to getting our new facility built which the children will use for wildlife and gardening activities, craft activities and exercise sessions as well as for after school clubs and events.”

Gillian Coghill, CNSFund Chairperson said “Since the Fund’s inception, we have invested in a number of projects to help improve the quality of golf provision in the area and the new workshop facility at Wick Golf Club further supports this aim.   The new outdoor activity facility at Crossroads Primary will enhance the outdoor learning opportunities for young people and we commend the parent forum’s hard work in bringing this project to fruition.”   The CNSFund Chairperson also said “We are very keen to encourage more community groups to come forward with projects that meet our aims as we want our funding to help as many groups as possible.  We have recently created a Facebook business page to raise further awareness about the CNSFund as well as distributing a poster campaign.” 

 The CNSFund was established to distribute a £4M funding package provided by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority as a result of the low-level waste facility built near Dounreay.  Grants are distributed in line with the NDA’s socio-economic policy with applications being assessed on a quarterly basis.  Further information about the CNSFund and how to apply can be found at www.cnsf.org.uk, Facebook or by contacting the Fund Coordinator David Shearer on enquiries@cnsf.org.uk  Tel: 07841 204 982.

Director Vacancy – Voluntary Role

CAITHNESS AND NORTH SUTHERLAND FUND

 DIRECTOR VACANCY (unremunerated)

Deadline for applications:  Monday 14th of June.

 The Caithness & North Sutherland Fund is a community fund established by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd to distribute a £4M funding package to community projects that will increase the attractiveness of Caithness & North Sutherland as a place to live, work and invest.

We are looking to fill a vacancy on our Board of Directors and are seeking applications from enthusiastic individuals with a passion for our communities.  As a Director, you will be responsible to ensure that the Fund complies with its objectives and governing documents as well as all relevant legislation and regulations.  You will also become a member of the Fund’s assessment committee (meeting quarterly) and will use your skills and knowledge to help distribute our grant funding to benefit communities within the Dounreay travel to work area.

Candidates must be ordinarily resident in Caithness and North Sutherland and we are particularly interested in attracting candidates with the following attributes:

For further information or to apply, please contact the Fund Coordinator:

Email: enquiries@cnsf.org.uk

Tel: 07841 204 982

PR Grant Awards 2021-R2

PRESS RELEASE CNSF2021PR039 (01-06-2021)

COMMUNITY GROUPS BENEFIT FROM £76k IN CNSFUND GRANTS

Community groups in Caithness & North Sutherland are to benefit from over £76k following the CNSFund’s latest round of grant awards.

Bower Busy Bees ELC has been granted £20,000 to help create a purpose-built outdoor shelter facility that will enable the rural early learning centre to offer pre-school children a much better and engaging outdoor learning experience. The outdoor facility will consist of a cabin structure equipped with an adjoining composting toilet as well as being wheelchair accessible.

Bower Busy Bees ELC Treasurer Dr Neil James said “We are delighted to have been awarded a grant from the CNSFund which takes us closer towards reaching our funding target. The funds represent an enormous boost to the development of the nursery through the building of an accessible outdoor facility.  Bower Busy Bees prides itself on offering a unique early learning experience with an emphasis on outdoor learning. The new facility, to be located within the onsite forest, will allow children attending the nursery to spend more time connected with nature and the environment, especially during the winter months. It will also enable an accessible and practical solution that complements the existing infrastructure of the setting and increases our capacity to take more two year olds and children with additional support needs.  The outdoor facility will be an investment in line with the unique ethos of the nursery that benefits the local community and provides the county with a long term and sustainable option for outdoor learning at an early age.”

Other grant awards included £23,650 to Dunbeath Preservation Trust towards the costs of creating a new Development Officer post.   The Trust manages the Dunbeath Heritage Centre and the new role will enable the Trust to recruit and train more volunteers as well as enhance the heritage museum’s social media presence.  A community engagement programme and community consultation will also be carried out to help inform an action plan for utilising the Trust’s historical buildings.

Helmsdale Crafty Sew & Sews was awarded £23,329.73 for new sewing machines, equipment and materials. The new equipment will used by the group’s volunteer sewers to upcycle used or unwanted materials and convert them into second life items for environmental and community benefit.  Based at the Helmsdale Community Centre, the group will also provide community workshops and events to promote the learning of sewing and craft fabric skills as well as raising awareness of the environmental impact of materials and unwanted items going to landfill.

Thurso Players saw £7,000 awarded towards its history display project to create a large wall panel history display that will portray the evolution of the Mill Theatre complex and the history of the Thurso Players.  The multi panel display will be designed from a series of engagement workshops that will be captured using new IT equipment.  The history display will be installed in the Mill Theatre as part of a preliminary phase of activities to support the drama group’s Foundry building restoration plans.  A new theatre piece and website enhancements will also be undertaken.

North Coast Connection was granted £2,573.47 to carry out improvements to the Kyle Centre’s community garden.  The charity manages the community wellbeing centre at Tongue and provides a range of activities to older people and other groups, helping to address rural isolation.  The centre uses produce from the garden for its popular community lunch club.  The improvements will include installing new raised beds and new path work to improve garden access. Other improvements include display information and the creation of a memories garden area.

Gillian Coghill, CNSFund Chairperson said “We are pleased to support these wide-ranging community initiatives which collectively have an emphasis on delivering environmental, social, cultural and infrastructure improvements.  As always, we continue to look forward to supporting worthy proposals that meet our improvement aims.  We want our funding to help as many groups as possible, especially during these challenging times and we are particularly keen to encourage community groups who have not previously applied’’

 The CNSFund was established to distribute a £4M funding package provided by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority as a result of the low-level waste facility built near Dounreay.  Grants are distributed in line with the NDA’s socio economic policy.  Applications are assessed quarterly and the next application closing date is the 25th of June.  The quarterly application schedule and how to apply can be found at www.cnsf.org.uk or by contacting the Fund Coordinator David Shearer on enquiries@cnsf.org.uk  Tel: 07841 204 982.

PR Grant Awards 2020-R4 2021-R1

PRESS RELEASE CNSF2021PR038 (03-03-2021)

COMMUNITY GROUPS BENEFIT FROM CNSFUND GRANTS

The CNSFund has committed over £79k to community groups in Caithness & North Sutherland in its recent grant rounds.   Funded by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, a wide range of community-led projects throughout the Dounreay travel to work area are to benefit from the grant support.

Strathnaver Museum has been granted £30,000 towards the costs of installing professional interpretation designs that will create new, innovative exhibition displays and improvements to access and visitor flow, as part of the museum’s major redevelopment plans.

Strathnaver Museum Project Manager Fiona Mackenzie said “We are delighted to have this support from CNSF to install professional interpretation which will establish Strathnaver as a world class visitor attraction. By creating new displays and better visitor facilities we will improve access to the collection and enhance the visitor experience, helping to tell the story of north west Sutherland for everyone to enjoy.”

Other grant awards included £24,216 to Farr North Community Development Trust to help with the costs of establishing the new development body, which has been recently formed following a community consultation.   The grant will be used towards the community trust appointing a manager and development officer in order to take forward numerous development priorities identified in local community plans.

Advocacy Highland was awarded £11,283.50 to establish a Young People’s Advocacy Pilot Project in Caithness & North Sutherland that will help to support young people aged 11-16yrs old who are in need of advocacy support.

Wick Gala Committee saw £5.356.80 awarded to help refurbish the Wick Riverside Boating Shed roof to protect and improve the community building that will enable the gala body to continue to make use of the facility as a safe and secure base to run the annual gala as well as to support other community activities.

Reay Golf Club was granted £5,000 to refurbish its clubhouse exterior that will preserve and enhance the golf club building to provide an attractive and modern recreational facility for the community and visiting golfers to enjoy.

Farr High School Parent Council was awarded £4,029.80 to help deliver a creative project involving local children to design and construct iconic sculpture signposts to install at each of the North Coast Campus schools.  The purpose of the sculptures are to represent and promote the culture and heritage of the North Sutherland school campus.

Gillian Coghill, CNSFund Chairperson said “We commend the efforts of these community groups who are working hard to deliver improvements for our communities, particularly during these challenging times.  We continue to look forward to supporting worthy proposals that meet our improvement aims, to help ensure Caithness & North Sutherland is an attractive place and in turn has a sustainable future.’’ 

The CNSFund distributes money to community projects that increase the attractiveness of Caithness and North Sutherland as a place to live, work and invest. Applications are assessed on a quarterly basis and information on how to apply can be found at the CNSFund website, www.cnsf.org.uk.

CNSFund 2021 Grant Application Schedule

The CNSFund assesses applications on a quarterly basis.

Please ensure that you submit your initial enquiry form well in advance of the closing dates to allow yourself sufficient time to complete your full application form, which we will provide you with after we receive your initial enquiry form and have concluded our eligibility screening checks.

CNSF 2021 Application Assessment Schedule

2021-R1 

Application form closing date – Friday 18th December 2020.

Assessment Meeting – Friday 29th January 2021.

2021-R2

Application form closing date – Friday 26th March 2021.

Assessment Meeting – Friday 30th April 2021.

2021-R3

Application form closing date – Friday 25th June 2021.

Assessment Meeting – Friday 30th July 2021.

2021-R4

Application form closing date – Friday 24th September 2021.

Assessment Meeting – Friday 29th of October 2021.

 

The CNSFund reserves the right to change this schedule.

CNSF 2020 AGM REPORT

The CNSFund 2020 AGM Report can be downloaded from the following link:

CNSFund 2020 AGM Report

Chairperson’s Report

I am pleased to present my report for 2020 which is the
ninth year of the Fund’s operation. Since the last AGM,
the Fund has held four assessment meetings and has
assessed 24 applications, awarding a total of £353,303 to
20 deserving community projects. Compared to the
previous year for the same period, this shows an increase
in the level of applications and grant money committed.
This year has seen the highest level of annual investment
by the Fund for many years and is testament to the hard
work of people who are determined to deliver
improvements for their communities. When ‘leverage’
funding is taken into account – because most projects
rely on more than one funder – the total value of projects
enabled by the Fund this year is £1.3Million. Since its first
year of operation in 2012, the Fund has awarded
£2,540,303 to projects which make Caithness and North
Sutherland a better place to live, work and invest.

The level of enquiries has remained relatively consistent
compared to the previous year, which is encouraging to
see given the pandemic. However, the pandemic has had
an impact on the implementation of most of the projects
that have been awarded grants this year, with the
delivery of some being delayed while others, particularly
events, have been rescheduled to take place in the
following year. We are continuing to work with groups
on revising their project schedules.

This year, the Fund received an additional £9,000 after
the NDA put in place an annual uplift to the Fund to cover
inflation. The annual uplift is calculated using the retail
price index and will be updated annually until the NDA’s
funding commitment to the programme ends. This is a
welcome boost to the funds available to benefit our
communities.

In addition to the quarterly assessment meetings, the
Board also held its annual review meeting in February
2020 and found that the Fund’s application process,
evaluation criteria and level of applications coming
forward were evidenced to be working well in order to
meet the objectives of the Fund. Recorded feedback
from applicants was also reviewed and this feedback
continues to be extremely positive. The Fund’s audit
findings continue to be consistently good, which gives
assurance that the Fund is being well run.

The Fund carried out an open recruitment process for
candidates to fill the Board vacancy as a result of Jim
MacGregor’s scheduled retirement. Jim has completed
two consecutive terms of office and served as Chair and
Vice-Chair during his time as a director. The directors are
gratified by the interest shown in the vacancy on the
Board and the outcome is that Fiona Forbes is
nominated for election as an appointed director at this
year’s AGM. I wish to record my thanks to Jim
MacGregor for his valuable contribution to the work of
the Fund over the years.

I also thank the Fund’s NDA Observer Anna MacConnell
who stepped down from the NDA in December. Anna
was involved in the formative stages of the Fund and her
guidance and support throughout the programme has
been invaluable. We welcome David Wallace as the
Fund’s new NDA Observer.
Our Board of Directors works well and I would like to
thank my fellow Directors for their support during the
year. Because of the pandemic they have had to put in
place alternative arrangements in order to ensure that
the Fund has been able to continue with its grant
assessment schedule.

I also thank Mary-Jane Statham and DSRL for providing
use of DSRL’s conference call provision to allow us to
continue to conduct our meetings while social
restrictions are in place.

It is through the efforts of our staff that the Fund has
been able to operate effectively during this difficult
year. Owing to the pandemic our office has been closed.
David Shearer, Fund Coordinator, and Paula Davidson,
Grants Administrative Assistant, have worked from
home and I thank them for their flexibility and the
considerable efforts they have willingly made.

Local community groups have shown great resilience
during the current pandemic. Developing sound project
proposals is a demanding task in the best of times and
the restrictions imposed by the pandemic have made
the process more difficult in many ways. It is important
to acknowledge the efforts of community volunteers
who have had their projects postponed and have had to
undertake extra work to reschedule or make alternative
arrangements as a result of the pandemic.

In these difficult times the need for investment in our
communities has never been greater. For this reason, I
would like to conclude by strongly encouraging
community groups to come forward with proposals
which meet the objectives of the Fund. Finally, I would
also like to remind communities that a successful
application to CNSF demonstrates that the proposal has
been scrutinised and approved at a local level and this
fact can help unlock grant aid from other funders.

David Glass – Chair.

 

 

CNSFund Festive Break Office Closure Dates

The CNSFund office will be closed for the festive period from Wednesday 23rd of December – Wednesday 6th of January.

CNSFund 2020 AGM Notice – 11th of December

The ninth Annual General Meeting of the Caithness & North Sutherland Fund

will be held on the 11th of December 2020, commencing at 2pm.

As a result of the ongoing public safety measures, this year the AGM will be a virtual meeting.

If you would like to be in attendance at the AGM, please let us know by contacting the CNSFund on enquiries@cnsf.org.uk

Once you have registered, we will send you an invitation link and Agenda for the virtual meeting.

Please note that registration is required to access the invitation link to the meeting.

CNSFund New Board Member Required – Voluntary Position

DIRECTOR VACANCY (unremunerated)

Deadline for applications:     Monday 19th of October.

 The Caithness & North Sutherland Fund is a community fund established by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd to distribute a £4M funding package to community projects that will increase the attractiveness of Caithness & North Sutherland as a place to live, work and invest.

We are looking to fill a scheduled vacancy on our Board of Directors and are seeking applications from enthusiastic individuals with a passion for our communities.  As a Director, you will be responsible to ensure that the Fund complies with its objectives and governing documents as well as all relevant legislation and regulations.  You will also become a member of the Fund’s Assessment Committee (meeting quarterly) and will use your skills and knowledge to help distribute our funds to benefit communities within the Dounreay travel to work area.

Candidates must be an ordinarily resident in the Caithness & North Sutherland area and we are particularly interested in attracting candidates with the following attributes:

For further information or to apply, please contact the Fund Coordinator:

Email: enquiries@cnsf.org.uk

Tel: 07841 204 982

PR Grant Awards 2020-R3

COMMUNITY GROUPS SEE INVESTMENT OF OVER £150K IN LATEST FUNDING ROUND

Seven community projects are to benefit from over £150k of funding following the Caithness & North Sutherland Fund’s latest grant awards.

CNSFund Chairperson David Glass said “Our latest grant investments will enable community groups to deliver a wide range of improvements to benefit people living in Caithness & North Sutherland.  These include the enhancement and development of numerous community initiatives that are making a real difference to people in need as well as supporting infrastructure improvements to important community facilities”.  

 Caithness Citizens Advice Bureau was granted £29,840 towards the costs of creating two new part-time specialist advisor roles to enhance the advisory capacity of the bureau.  The additional advisors will consist of an Employments Rights Advisor and an Energy Advisor to support the charity’s high level of enquiries.

Bureau Manager, Isobel Mackay said “Demand for our advice services has continued to grow and employment and energy related enquiries need advisors with specialist knowledge.  We are extremely grateful to the CNSFund for the grant support that enables us to recruit and train two new specialist advisors to cover our Wick and Thurso offices as well as our outreach service to North Sutherland.  The next two years will undoubtedly be a challenging time for many people and we anticipate an increase in need for these services with furlough support ending and colder weather approaching.  The improvements to our advisory team will help to ensure that we have sufficient resources to support those who are in need”. 

Other awards included £30,000 to Caithness KLICS towards the continued development and service delivery of its young carer service that provides support to young people who have a caring role at home.  The grant will be used towards the costs of the charity’s project manager.  Caithness KLICS supports young carers through one to one support, group activities and by working with schools to ensure they reach the same potential as their peers.

Thurso Community Development Trust was granted £30,000 to towards its Together Thurso Project.  The initiative will develop and deliver a programme of community activities that will focus on reducing social isolation to improve the quality of life and well-being of people living in the Thurso and surrounding area.  The project has been formed to address the local needs highlighted in the Trust’s 5-year development plan that has been based around extensive community consultation and reflects the needs and aspirations of the Thurso community.

Reiss & Killimster Park Committee saw £30,000 awarded to help refurbish the existing old play park in the village of Reiss.  The grant will be used towards the costs of installing new innovative play equipment to provide an inclusive modern recreational facility that will create a welcoming space for local residents and visitors to enjoy.

Pulteneytown People’s Project was granted £21,246 towards the costs of upgrading the Pulteney Centre training & meeting room by refurbishing the facility with new laptops and interactive touchscreens equipped with videoconferencing technology.  The enhanced training room facilities will enable the community enterprise to make better use of technology to connect with people and will be used to support young people engaged in its employability programmes as well as providing childcare online activities and learning.   The new technology will also enable various outreach sessions such as older people online group activities as well as being available for people to hold online meetings, conferences and training.

Reay Hall SCIO was awarded £7,166 towards the costs of appointing professional services to produce an options appraisal for adopting a phased approach to deliver a major refurbishment programme to bring the Reay Hall up to modern standards.  The village hall is in need of a large-scale refurbishment and a feasibility refurbishment plan has already been produced that includes internal and exterior improvements and the creation of more flexible spaces.

British Divers Marine Life Rescue was awarded £2,180 to purchase a new rescue ambulance trailer that will be based in Caithness to support the local marine rescue team’s operations as well as promoting local marine wildlife.

The CNSFund is funded by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and distributes money to community projects that increase the attractiveness of Caithness and North Sutherland as a place to live, work and invest. Applications are assessed on a quarterly basis and information on how to apply can be found at the CNSFund website, www.cnsf.org.uk or by phoning 07841 204 982.