Kinlochleven residents encouraged to submit applications for Benefit Fund

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The Kinlochleven Community Benefit Fund will be hosting a drop-in advice session at The Leven Centre for anyone wanting to submit a grant application.

The fund gets money from the two hydro-electric schemes in the village giving it £35,000 per year to distribute amongst community projects. Deadline for applicants is Friday January 17.

It was suggested following a well-attended public meeting in 2018 and a steering group was created which registered the KCBF as a charity and volunteers then stepped forward to become initial trustees.

Councillor Andrew Baxter, who also runs the Kinlochleven Post Office, is one of those initial trustees. He told the Lochaber Times: ‘We get £5,000 per megawatt generated from the hydro-schemes and so far they produce 7mw per year which gives us £35,000 for community projects.

‘I have a completely open mind about what projects could benefit this money, but they should have a long-term benefit for the village.’

Helen Thompson, who was elected to be a trustee of the fund due to her role in the Kinlochleven Community Trust, wants existing groups to think of new projects to use the money.

She said: ‘There are many deserving groups in Kinlochleven, all working to make our village an even better place to live, and I would hope that they all have projects in mind that could benefit from the fund.’

Hydroelectricity made Kinlochleven the first village in the world to have every house connected to the electricity grid and this new scheme hopes to give it another boost.

You can find out more about applying for funding by collecting a Guidance to Applicants flyer and a grant application form from either the Kinlochleven Post Office or The Leven Centre.

The drop-in advice session on Saturday is for anyone who has not completed a grant application before or want some clarification on what can be funded. It officially runs for an hour from 9.30am.

The deadline for applications for the first round of funding is Friday January 17 and there will be two further dates for applications in May and September.

A Special General Meeting to elect trustees who will administer the fund in future is scheduled for Wednesday March 18.