Wind farm windfall at Bettyhill Public Hall

The kitchen area of Bettyhill’s sixty year old village hall has been given a major facelift thanks to a grant of just over £19,000 from SSE’s Strathy North wind farm community benefit fund.  

The upgrade includes new kitchen cupboards and worktops, an easy clean floor, new sink and washbasin and the replacement of an ageing electric cooker with two new ones.  

The work was carried out by joiner Charles Sutherland of Reay who added a significant extra free of charge in the shape of a dishwasher, something novel in a hall where all previous dishwashers have been of the human variety.

Chair of the Hall Committee, Pete Malone of Bettyhill Post Office, said: “We are very pleased that SSE was able to help us fund these improvements which we feel will make a real difference to the hall. We are also delighted with Charles Sutherland’s generous gift which we are sure many hall users will be grateful for.”

All of the above cost around £15,000 and the Committee now plans to use the balance to improve the disabled toilet, install baby changing facilities and purchase lightweight tables.  

Fiona Morrison, SSE’s Community Involvement Officer, is impressed with how the communities are utilising the fund: “Strathy North community benefit fund has distributed almost £250,000 since it opened 18 months ago. The communities are really putting it to good use with a variety of different initiatives receiving funding.

“In addition to community hall improvements “Transport for Tongue” received around £19,000 towards implementing a transport initiative which would allow young people from Bettyhill, Strathy and Melvich to attend North Highland College, UHI in Thurso.

“Without public transport to meet the college timetable, young people had been forced to move south to gain qualifications. This project provides a dedicated service which allows young people to stay in their communities while enhancing their education.”

For more information on the fund visit the community section of our website.