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Grant funding for community projects in Shetland

Support provided by Shetland Islands Council

What does this involve?

The Shetland Islands Council Coastal Communities Fund offers grants of between £5,000 and £100,000 to projects that support the community and economic development of Shetland by investing in infrastructure, community capacity building, developing community assets and encouraging inclusive growth.

The projects should lead to growth that improves wellbeing, creates greater equality and opportunities for all, and distributes the benefits of increased prosperity fairly.

Coastal Communities funding may be used to:

  • develop and regenerate Shetland communities, including infrastructure and community assets
  • create and safeguard sustainable economic growth and jobs
  • provide rural communities with the means and opportunity to address issues of poverty, access and inclusion, disadvantage and inequality
  • contribute to the net zero agenda through carbon reduction and renewable energy
  • support communities to develop projects that promote and develop local resilience in areas such as food supply, connectivity and energy
  • support community capacity building and community development
  • support opportunities for skills development and learning experiences
  • add value to Shetland’s economy through collective efforts including supporting the promotion of local produce and facilities, developing new products and external markets, and improving sustainability

Grants are available for both capital and revenue costs.

Funds from this scheme can be used to pay for costs such as:

  • buildings, including construction costs, upgrades or improvements and associated professional fees
  • professional fees, such as consultancy costs
  • consents and permissions
  • non-recoverable VAT
  • new equipment
  • participatory budgeting
  • salary costs
  • volunteer expenses

Am I eligible?

Yes, if your organisation is based in Shetland and has an open constitution or set of rules that clearly defines the organisation’s aims, objectives and procedures.

The following types of organisations can apply:  

  • registered charities
  • community groups
  • voluntary organisations
  • social enterprises
  • local authority departments
  • other public sector bodies
  • collective interest or industry-wide bodies

What does this cost?

Grants will cover between 75% and 90% of the total cost, depending on the project. You must fund the difference, for example through other match funding.

Who is this for?

Shetland-based organisations including registered charities, community groups and social enterprises.

How long does this take?

You can apply at any time, but it is strongly advised that you contact your council officers first.  

All applications are considered at funding panel meetings, which are normally held quarterly. Dates for future panel meetings can be found on the Shetland Islands Council website.

For grant requests of up to £25,000, there is a single-stage application process – applications must be received at least 8 weeks before a funding panel meeting. 

For grants of more than £25,000, there are 2 stages to the process:

  • Stage 1 is an Expression of Interest –  this must be submitted at least 3 weeks before a funding panel meeting
  • Stage 2 requires completion of the full application form – applications must be received at least 8 weeks before a funding panel meeting

You'll learn the outcome of your application shortly after the panel meeting has taken place.

For funding requests of £50,000 or more, the panel's recommendation will be presented to Shetland Islands Council for a decision. The council meets 4 to 5 times a year – dates for these meetings are listed on the Shetland Islands Council website.

Important information

To secure funding, projects must match the aims of the Shetland Partnership Plan 2018 to 2028 and the shared vision that “Shetland is a place where everyone is able to thrive; living well in strong, resilient communities; and where people and communities are able to help plan and deliver solutions to future challenges.”

Applicants must demonstrate how their project will drive change for Shetland and deliver on the partnership priorities, namely:

  • Place – “Shetland is an attractive place to live, work, study and invest.”
  • Participation – “People participate and influence decisions or services and use of resources.”
  • People – “Individuals and families thrive and reach their full potential.”
  • Money – “All households can afford to have a good standard of living.”

You'll need to demonstrate that there is a need and support for your proposed project. You could do this by carrying out community consultations or an options appraisal, or by writing a business case.

Projects cannot start until you've accepted any grant award letter.

Next steps

Visit the Shetland Islands Council website for more information on how to apply and timings for applications and decisions.



Support provided by Shetland Islands Council