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£1m Highlands Net Zero Funding Established

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SSE Renewables has announced a new £1 million fund to help drive the net zero ambitions of communities in the Highlands.

The Highland Sustainable Development Fund is open to non-profit making organisations, community groups and charities across the Highland region. Successful projects will have the potential to deliver transformational social, economic and environmental changes in the local area and to support long-term community development. With the focus being on projects that support a low carbon future, it is expected that successful applications will complement Highland Council's net zero ambitions in the region.

The fund has previously invested £5.6m in the Highland region to support transformational projects, including an award of £300k to the Isle of Raasay Development Trust to contribute to a community owned hydro project. This will reduce fuel poverty and improve energy efficiency on Raasay.

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Elizabeth Macleod, Development Officer for Raasay Development Trust, said: "With significant support from the SSE Renewables Sustainable Development Fund, Raasay has been able to take forward our communities' vision of generating sustainable, renewable energy."

Ian Blackford, MP for Ross, Skye and Lochaber, said: "I've seen at first hand the transformational benefit of this funding to the Raasay community which is aiming to become a net-zero island. The Highland Sustainable Development Fund provided an enormous boost to this project and I would urge other groups in the Highlands with ideas for sustainable projects to apply for this funding."

Lord Jack Mcconnell, Chair of the Sustainable Development Fund, said: "The project at Raasay is an excellent example of a community taking action to secure their own future. We hope that the projects coming forward to this round of the Fund will be ambitious in their contribution to a net zero future for the Highlands."

Jim Smith, Managing Director at SSE Renewables, said: "SSE Renewables is proud to be supporting Scotland's net zero future, which includes our sponsorship of COP26 and the construction of new wind farms in the Highlands. The Sustainable Development Fund will play an important role for the low carbon future of the region."

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