Great Bernera Community Development Trust's Kirkibost Pier facility on the west coast of Lewis

The Scottish Hydro Electric Community Trust is inviting applications for funding support to connect to the electricity distribution network in the north of Scotland.

The Scottish Hydro Electric Community Trust is an independent charitable trust set up in 1998 by Scottish Hydro Electric plc (now SSE plc). The Trust considers applications for support with the cost of connecting to the electricity network for individual homeowners and also for community groups with charitable status in the Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) licence area in the north of Scotland.

The Trust is looking to support up to 75% of the cost of connections for successful community projects and up to 50% of the cost for individuals looking for support to meet the costs of a new domestic connection. As a charity, the Trust is required to means test applications for domestic connections.

The next round of applications closes on Tuesday 17 May 2022, with future applications being considered by Trustees on a quarterly basis.

David Telford, Trust Chairman, said:

“In the last financial year, we’ve issued grants of almost £128,000 to support individual homeowners to help them connect to the network in SSEN’s distribution area in the north of Scotland, with almost £39,000 issued to support connection costs of community projects providing significant benefit to their local communities.

“The Trust was initially set up to help those facing challenges connecting to the electricity network, particularly in some of our more rural mainland and island communities, so we’re delighted to continue providing this vital support to individuals and community groups over 20 years later.”

Great Bernera Community Development Trust has received a grant to provide electricity to their Kirkibost pier facility. Mr Callum J Macaulay from Great Bernera Community Development Trust, said:

“In order to regenerate the area a pontoon facility is to be installed for smaller vessels and visiting leisure craft. In addition, on shore facilities are to be provided in order to help attract visiting craft to the area. No existing facility of this sort exists on the West Coast of Lewis.”   

Dornoch Beach Wheelchairs has received a grant to provide electricity to their Beach Wheelchair Shed facility at Dornoch Beach. Ms Isla Fullerton-Smith from Dornoch Beach Wheelchairs, said:

“The shed was built, we purchased 4 wheelchairs, a hydraulic hoist to enable safe transfer, an indoor hoist and a changing bed.  An electric wheelchair was purchased in 2021 and having electricity will allow us to charge the chair in situ and have lighting and security. We already know the value of this facility and have users from Ullapool to Inverness. Disabled children can now join their classmates on the beach for valuable outdoor play time, a Tain nursing home brought a lady on her 100th birthday as she wanted a trip to the beach to feel the wind in her hair. People who have not been to a beach in years are now able to join the family and not feel excluded.”

Highland Group RDA has received a grant to provide electricity to its new facility at Sandycroft, Reelig, Kirkhill. Mr Robin Pape, Chairman, from Highland Group RDA, said:

“Highland Group RDA is building the first independent RDA centre for the Highlands.  The work of the charity, and this project, is focused on the benefit and support it can offer to participants, volunteers, and the wider community – a centre at the heart of the community.  With rising costs of the build, the Group applied to the SHE Community Trust for funding assistance towards the required electricity connection, and most importantly to enable it to welcome disabled participants to the new venue as soon as possible.”

Further applications are welcome after the closing date of Tuesday 17 May as the Trust meets on a quarterly basis to regularly consider applications.

For more information on the Scottish Hydro Electric Community Trust, to apply online or download an application form, please visit

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks

We are the electricity Distribution Network Operator (DNO) responsible for delivering power to over 3.8 million homes and businesses across central southern England and the north of Scotland. We serve some of the most diverse and unique geographies across the UK, and keep customers and communities connected whilst developing the flexible electricity network vital to achieving net zero.