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First community benefit grants awarded

April 22nd 2021

Nearly £47,000 in four grants has been approved in the first month of the Shetland Community Benefit Fund support scheme using money from the Viking Community Fund.

Two projects supported by the Nesting and Lunnasting Community Council will improve disabled access to the South Nesting Hall and allow the land to be purchased for a new marina at Catfirth.

The South Nesting Boating Club is to receive £40,000 to buy the land for a new 40-berth marina at Catfirth and allow the club to move on to the next phase of the scheme. The marina will be an important new facility for both local leisure and commercial boat owners.

Boating Club chair Kenny Bradley said they were pleased to be one of the first beneficiaries of the new community benefit fund. "This generous and timely grant will be used to purchase the land for the marina site. The South Nesting Boating Club would like to express their thanks to the Shetland Community Benefit Fund for their support which has brought the club’s Community Marina Project significantly closer to its goal which, in turn, will bring real and far reaching benefits to the community and surrounding areas."

Another grant of £1,900 has been approved for the South Nesting Hall to improve disabled access to the building. Hall chair, Adam Priest, said the hall's accessibility access ramp had deteriorated so much it was getting unsafe for users. "The SCBF funding was instrumental to the hall quickly progressing the repair to the accessibility ramp. As a result, the hall will be accessible to all users by the time normal hall activities resume once pandemic restrictions are lifted."

Lerwick Community Council has supported two local projects - a £500 grant for the Royal Voluntary Service to help with transport costs for social activities and £4,500 to the North Staney Hill Community Association for a major repair programme and general upgrade of the local hall so it is ready for when covid restrictions are lifted.

RVS Service Manager Moira Bell said they were delighted to receive the grant. “All our face-to-face activities had to cease due to Covid 19. As a result many of our clients have felt isolated, missing the regular social contact that is so important to them. Once restrictions permit, the funding will allow us to provide services again and will be something for everyone to look forward to.”

Karen Ridland, Secretary of North Staneyhill Community Association said “These funds will help us get much needed maintenance, repairs and upgrading done to the hall. The hall has been so well used by the community in the past and this gives us the opportunity to thank them by making the hall more accessible, warm and welcoming”.

SCBF chair Chris Bunyan said he was delighted they had made the first awards from the Viking Community Fund through a grant scheme that will operate during the construction of the Viking wind farm and be open to projects supported by any of Shetland's 18 community councils. "We have had a very encouraging first month and SCBF is particularly pleased that its support will help release funding from other sources."

Full details of the grant scheme are available here