Last year The Scottish Government announced the ten-year £500 million Just Transition Capital Fund to support Scotland’s Northeast economy in its Just Transition to net zero. In 2022, £1million was distributed to groups in Aberdeen city, Aberdeenshire and Moray with the public voting on which green community projects they wanted to see funded.
Many fantastic local groups received funding and now 2023 sees a further £1.5 million coming to our Northeast communities for environmentally-friendly green projects – with applications opening on 26th June and a public vote in September.
The fund will once again be managed by the three Third Sector Interfaces for the Northeast: ACVO, Aberdeenshire Voluntary Action, and TSiMoray supported by the Northeast Scotland’s Climate Action Network (NESCAN Hub) and Money for Moray. Each area has £500,000 to make available to third sector groups.
Grassroots community organisations can apply for up to £50,000 for capital funding for green projects that address climate change and improve sustainability as we work towards net-zero. Once the proposals are in, these projects will then be put to a public vote where voters will decide which projects they believe will offer the greatest contribution towards a carbon-neutral Aberdeenshire.
This capital funding is for the purchase of tangible assets, such as buildings, equipment, and land with some previous recipients of the fund purchasing amongst other things, electric vehicles, charging points, solar-powered mowers, insulation, reusable equipment, and a solar lighting power bank.
Beannachar Camphill Community in Aberdeenshire received £49,930 from the fund last year to create a new centralised laundry facility run by their students – young adults with learning disabilities. Community Director, Andrea Spence-Jones said
“The laundry workshop has allowed up to 30 students to use this space and to reduce carbon emissions by 5.6 tonnes of CO2e per year. The laundry function is an integral part of our community life and being supported by the public to help us secure funding means so much to us. “
Our efforts to reduce emissions, promote healthy sustainable lifestyles and the circular economy is very important to us and this project has allowed us to take positive steps towards this.”
1st Belhelvie Guides were awarded £2260 last year and used it to purchase a range of equipment to make the group more sustainable including a power bank for solar panels and recycled tents. Leader Susan Osbeck said “I spotted the advert for it and thought it was a great way to try to bring in more environmentally friendly tools to our group. The battery has been a fantastic talking point at our County event with other leaders there showing interest in the use of it. County are now considering buying one for an upcoming international event, and I am pleased this has inspired other groups to consider getting them.”
Gillian Martin, MSP, Minister for Energy and the Environment said, “It was great to see so many fantastic local projects benefit from the first round of Just Transition funding. Now’s the chance for even more to put their case forward to the public. These funds are key to communities realising their ambitions to reduce their carbon footprint and making a major contribution in the Northeast to reaching the Scottish Net Zero targets that are the most ambitious in Europe!”
For all the information that groups will need, and the application forms for each of the three areas, head to the website at: https://www.jtpbfund.scot/