PR - Grant Awards 2015-R1 Published on 1st May 2015


The CNSFund continues to make a positive impact on the Dounreay travel to work area following its latest round of grant awards.  The NDA funded grant body recently held its first assessment round for 2015 awarding over £68k to six groups in the Caithness & North Sutherland area.

One of the beneficiary groups was Castletown Heritage Society which was awarded a grant of £20K towards delivering its “Window on the Hidden Bronze Age Landscape of Caithness Project”.   The Society will make use of archaeological and historical information revealed by a recent Airborne Laser Scanning Survey (LiDAR) of the Caithness Landscape to deliver a one year community engagement programme of archaeological activity.  The LIDAR survey revealed new Bronze Age settlements and associated agriculture including extensive evidence of farming and settlement of at least 3500 years old and is described as some of the best preserved prehistoric landscapes in the UK.

Neil Buchan, Vice Chairman of Castletown Heritage Society said “We are delighted to have secured the support of the Caithness & North Sutherland Fund.  At the heart of our project is an engaging and rewarding programme of involvement for local schools and volunteers from the Caithness and north Sutherland community.  CNSF2015PR020 PIC001Working with professional archaeologists, participants will have the opportunity to take part in practical archaeology training workshops and activities including LiDAR data interpretation, in-field archaeological surveys, and cartography.  The knowledge and information gained during the year-long project will be made available to all, through evening talks, a website and a permanent exhibition including interactive displays in Castlehill Heritage Centre.  This is an amazing opportunity to explore the social lifestyle of the inhabitants of these hitherto undiscovered Bronze Age settlements!”

Picture from left to right: Neil Buchan - CHS Vice Chairman, Muriel Murray - CHS Committee Member, Roy Blackburn - CHS Chairman, Alan Bruce - CHS Committee Member

Yarrows Herritage Trust were also awarded a grant of £5,243 towards its “Iron Age Swartigill Project” which will include an exploratory dig on what has been revealed as an Iron Age settlement site on the Burn of Swartigill near Thrumster.  Other beneficiaries of the CNSFund latest grant awards were; £23,300 to Latheron Lybster & Clyth Community Development Company towards its Lybster Tool Shed Project, £8,500 to Thrumster Primary Parent Council towards its Outdoor Pavilion Classroom Project, £6,500 to House of Gaelic Melness towards its Songs of Rob Donn Project and £5,310 towards the Scottish Surfing Federation 2015 National Surfing Championships.

CNSFund Chairman John Henderson said “We continue to be impressed by the efforts of the community to deliver projects that highlight Caithness & North Sutherland as an attractive place to live work and invest in.  With the CNSFund running until 2023 and a number of other funding streams becoming available, this is a great time of opportunity for our communities to deliver long term improvements to the area.  We are pleased that groups are embracing this opportunity and look forward to continuing to support worthy proposals that contribute to the sustainable future of the Dounreay travel to work 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 and applications are assessed quarterly.  Closing dates for applications and how to apply can be found at or by contacting CNSFund Coordinator David Shearer on  Tel: 07841 204 982.