Community groups across Aberdeenshire are to benefit through the first round of awards from a new funding programme.
The £150,000-a-year Unlock our Future Fund, provided by Vattenfall’s European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre in Aberdeen Bay - was designed following community feedback to focus on projects and activities that support groups working towards a fossil fuel free life.
Community-owned electric vehicles, low carbon heating for community centres, support for community innovators upcycling gardening equipment, as well as a new indoor teaching beehive and local seed swap project are among the first winners selected by a panel of community champions.
Included in the awards is Strachan Village Hall, which is given £10,000 to help meet the cost of installing three wall-mounted air source heaters.
Aboyne and District Men’s Shed receives £8,967 to contribute to the building of Aboyne and Mid Deeside Community Shed development through the provision of solar panels.
Other recipients announced are Westhill and District Men’s Shed with £1,000 to purchase an electric arc welder, hydraulic mobile lift table and steel storage cupboard, to help their work in recycling lawnmowers.
Tarland Development Group is awarded £15,000 to contribute to the development of an environmental education facility near Tarland which will benefit several local groups,including an indoor teaching beehive, and a project to conserve, grow and swap local heritage varieties of flower and vegetable seeds.
Community champions panel chair Hamish Vernal said: “It was a very competitive first round of funding, and we would like to thank everyone who took the time to apply.
“Aberdeen and the surrounding areas have a reputation as a home of innovation for good reason, and that passion for innovation shone through in the successful applications - forward thinking community groups looking and readying for a sustainable, fossil free future.”