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 £150,000 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. This means growth that combines improved wellbeing with greater equality, creates opportunities for all, and distributes the benefits of increased prosperity fairly.

Coastal Communities funding may be used to help businesses:

  • develop and regenerate Shetland communities, including infrastructure and community assets
  • create and safeguard sustainable economic growth and jobs
  • help rural communities to address issues of poverty, disadvantage and inequality
  • contribute to reaching net zero 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 development and capacity building
  • support opportunities for skills development and learning experiences
  • add value to Shetland’s economy through collective efforts such as supporting promotion of local produce and facilities, developing new products and external markets, and improving sustainability
  • support strategic community events such as the Tall Ships and Island Games

Grants will be considered for both capital and revenue costs.

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

  • buildings (this may include construction costs, upgrades and associated professional fees)
  • professional fees
  • consents and permissions
  • non-recoverable VAT
  • new equipment
  • participatory budgeting
  • salary costs
  • project overheads
  • volunteer expenses

Am I eligible?

Yes, if your organisation is based in Shetland and has an open constitution or set of rules that clearly define 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, dependent 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?

There are 2 stages to the process:

  • Stage 1 is an Expression of Interest - applicants will be required demonstrate what outcomes and impacts their project will deliver. Projects may be turned down at this point.  The next Stage 1 application deadline is Monday 23 May 2020.
  • Stage 2 requires completion of the full application form and is by invitation only. Stage 2 applications must include a range of supporting documents and in some instances will also require a business plan or project plan - you should allow time to create this.  The next Stage 2 application deadline is Tuesday 19 April 2022.

Both Stage 1 and 2 applications are assessed by a panel. Panel meetings are normally held quarterly, with the next panel scheduled for 13 June 2022. 

You must submit Stage 1 applications no later than 3 weeks before a panel meeting, and Stage 2 applications no later than 8 weeks before the meeting. 

Applicants will be advised of the outcome of their application shortly after the panel meeting has taken place.

The panel will consider and determine all requests for funding below £50,000. For funding requests of £50,000 or more, the panel recommendation will be presented to Shetland Islands Council for a decision. Future dates for the panel and Shetland Islands Council meetings can be found 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.”

All applicants are expected to demonstrate the need and support for their proposed project. This could include carrying out community consultation, an options appraisal and/or writing a business case.

Projects cannot start until the applicant has accepted any grant award letter.

Next steps

Visit the Shetland Islands Council website to check your eligibility, view application deadlines and submit a Stage 1 application.

Support provided by Shetland Islands Council

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