SSE Renewables creates over £6.6m in opportunity for communities

SSE Renewables has provided over £6.6m in support for community projects across the Great Britain from 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019, a new report has found.

The report, launched today, details the 413 projects supported by SSE Renewables’ community funds this year, from the £600,000 award to Cill Chuimein Medical Centre to the £540 awarded to Dunkeld Art Exhibition.

The £6.6m of awards is the largest amount ever provided by the renewable energy company and has cemented SSE Renewables as one of the largest community funders in Scotland.

Jim Smith, Managing Director of SSE Renewables, said: “This is the sixth year of our community investment review and I am very pleased we have had another record year for our funds.

“We pride ourselves on our work with communities and our awards help secure much needed funding in often very rural regions to help them grow sustainably into the future, allowing our projects to contribute to a lasting legacy in the areas we operate in.”

One project that received £65,000 of funding was Plastic @ Bay, a recycling project which turns marine plastic into useful objects in the north Highlands.

Around 20kg of plastic material washes up on Durness beach each day and the project encourages residents and visitors to deposit washed-up plastic at deposit sites along the coast. Plastic @ Bay then shreds and moulds the material to create 3D filament, jewellery, furniture and hardware.

Joan D’Arcy, Co-Founder of Plastic @ Bay, said: “The Highland Sustainable Development Fund saw the potential our ocean plastic recycling project had to help our local environment and develop community projects.”

The funds come from a commitment from SSE Renewables to invest in the communities near their renewable energy developments. The funding decisions are made by local people ensuring that communities have control over how to enhance their local area.

Key areas of investment include improving local assets including community shops, museums and village halls. This year, supporting health and wellbeing saw an increase in funding from a 4x4 ambulance, to autism support and family first aid classes.

Jim Smith added: “The renewable energy sector has an important role to play in tackling the climate change challenge, but it also can play an important role helping rural communities thrive, as this report highlights.”

You can find the Community Investment Annual Review here.