PR Grant Awards 2021-R4

PRESS RELEASE CNSF2021PR041 (17/12/2021)

CNSFUND AWARDS FIVE NEW GRANTS

The Caithness & North Sutherland Fund has committed over £58k to five community projects in a recent round of grant awards.

The Seafarers Memorial Group has been granted £20,710 towards the costs of commissioning the design and construction of a seafarers memorial that will be sited overlooking the Wick harbour bay.  The memorial is intended to be a traditional monument structure and the design will be informed from community consultation.

Seafarers Memorial Group Treasurer Allan Tait  said “We are delighted to be awarded this grant which takes us up to our £100,000 target.  We have been overwhelmed by the support shown from the community and businesses throughout the WK registry area.  The North of Scotland has always had a great tradition of people working at sea but that has come at a great cost with many lives being lost.  Up until now there has been no memorial to mark those lost and this was the challenge we set ourselves.  The memorial will provide a focal point for quiet reflection and remembrance as well as raise awareness of our seafaring heritage.  It will also serve as a legacy monument for future generations that will link the past with the present.  We are now asking artists to provide designs and look forward to working with the community to finalise our plans in the New Year.” 

Other grants include Castletown Football Club being awarded £20,917.58 to help with the costs of refurbishing its clubhouse pavilion.  The refurbishment will bring the building up to modern standards to create a warm, attractive and inviting community facility.  The improvements will include a new roof, electrical rewiring, new heating and showers as well as internal insulation and redecoration.

Melvich Community SCIO was awarded £7,446 towards land acquisition costs in relation to land adjacent to the old Melvich hall site.  The additional land will enable the charity to progress with the design and build of a new a multi-functional community hub facility.

Wick Academy Football Club saw £7,500 being granted to help with the costs of a new football pitch mower.  The new mower will assist the club with maintaining its football pitch facilities to the high standards required, providing a quality social and recreational amenity for the area.

Tongue, Melness and Skerray Wildlife Group is to receive £1,785 to assist the group with creating a North Sutherland wildlife group website that will promote the local wildlife and natural environment of the North Sutherland area.

Gillian Coghill, CNSFund Chairperson said “These latest grant awards help to enhance our social and recreational amenities as well as promote our maritime heritage and natural environment.   We are pleased to be able to support these worthy projects and we encourage groups to continue coming forward with impressive proposals that will enhance the Caithness & North Sutherland area.”

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.

CNSFund 2021 AGM Report

The CNSFund 2021 AGM Report can be downloaded from the following link: –

CNSF(2021)AGM010-P001

Chairperson’s Report

It gives me great pleasure to present my report for 2021, which is the 10th year of the Fund’s operation.

Since our last AGM report, the Fund has continued as usual and held four assessment meetings.  We assessed fourteen applications and awarded £193,345.13 to thirteen community projects.  These are wide ranging innovative ideas brought to us from every area, to enhance and improve the community experience.

Compared to previous years however there has been a decrease in the level of applications and consequently money that has been committed.  This has mostly been as a direct result of the pandemic and we are led to believe that other funding bodies have noted the same downturn.

In addition to the usual meetings, the Board undertook a review of its processes as we felt we needed to update ourselves.  As a result, it has helped to ensure that everyone involved with the Fund is comfortable and clear on all of our operating procedures.  A Facebook page has been established and a poster campaign is ongoing to raise widespread awareness of our existence.

As part of the review, we also introduced a 12-month moratorium on all organisations who had applied to us three or more times since our inception.  The purpose of this was to encourage other groups who had not previously applied and to ensure that as many groups as possible in the area can benefit.  We plan to review this policy in April.

We were recently audited and the findings continue to be consistently good, showing a well-run operation.  Our feedback from applicants also continues on a positive note.

Over the summer, we carried out an open recruitment process for candidates to fill a vacancy that had arisen. The directors were very grateful for all the interest shown and the outcome has resulted in Kayleigh Nicolson being nominated for election as an appointed director at this year’s AGM.

I would like to thank Mary-Jane Statham, June Love DSRL and David Wallace NDA who are always supportive in their roles as Observers.  I also thank them for providing use of DSRL’s conference call provision which has allowed us to conduct our meetings in a safe manner during these worrying times.  A mention should also go to Louise Calder who helped design our new poster.

In many ways this has been a difficult year all round.  Understandably, folk are very wary of the virus and volunteers have become weary.  A different perspective and method of working has made many people uneasy.  However hopefully with time, momentum will build again and we can look forward to a raft of exciting projects being brought to our Fund.

As chair, I would like to thank former chairs who made my transition into this role much easier.  Listening to and learning from them has taught me a lot.  I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the present board members for their support and diligence over the past year and their enabling outlook on projects which has been a joy and privilege to be part of.

Thanks also goes to our staff David Shearer and Paula Davidson who have both continued to work from home.  Thankfully a few spells in the office have now been possible.  I would like to acknowledge their dedication and resilience during the current pandemic and the support they have given me in my new role.

Finally, I would like to thank the groups of volunteers who have given up their time to progress community ideas and bring their aspirations to fruition.  Without you all we simply could not operate.  Many difficulties arise around form filling, rising prices and I know it is very difficult to keep one step ahead.  However, we are here to assist at every stage and I ask you to keep coming, keep dreaming and build a better future for us all.

Gillian Coghill – Chairperson.

CNSF 2022 Application Schedule

The Caithness & North Sutherland Fund considers funding 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.

2022 – Round 1

Application form closing date – Monday 20th December 2021.

CNSF Assessment Meeting date – Friday 28th January 2021.

 

2022 – Round 2

Application form closing date – Friday 25th March 2022.

CNSF Assessment Meeting date – Friday 29th April 2022.

 

2022 – Round 3

Application form closing date – Friday 24th June 2022.

CNSF Assessment Meeting Date – Friday 29th July 2022.

 

2022 – Round 4

Application form closing date – Friday 30th September 2022.

CNSF Assessment Meeting date – Friday 28th of October 2022.

 

The CNSFund reserves the right to change this schedule.

 

 

CNSFund 2021 AGM Notice

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.