Suddenly the future looks better!

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has announced the launch of an emergency fund to support local charitable and community organisations facing financial difficulties following the subsea cable fault between Skye and Harris.

By John A. MacInnes
Tuesday, 17th November 2020, 8:49 am
Point and Sandwick Trust had told several charitable organisations they were no longer in a position to help.
Point and Sandwick Trust had told several charitable organisations they were no longer in a position to help.

The cable fault has had a severe impact on a number of local organisations that were set to receive funding from local community generators. The Comhairle has worked with SSEN to put in place a package of support funding that will be targeted at community groups and charities who provide support services to the most vulnerable in the community.

SSEN’s contribution of £300,000 has been established through the repurposing of £150,000 of its existing community resilience funds, which has then been matched by the company as a goodwill gesture. The Comhairle will contribute up to £175,000 to the Fund.

Support will be provided directly to impacted charitable and community organisations. It is anticipated that the fund will last for a one-year period and it is hoped will be operational this week. The Comhairle will be working with affected community bodies to ensure the funding is allocated quickly and efficiently to the affected organisations.

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Comhairle Leader, Cllr. Roddie Mackay said: “The loss of income to organisations which provide critical support services to some of the most vulnerable within our community has been of significant concern. I am pleased that the Comhairle has been able to pull together a package with SSEN to support impacted charitable bodies and, more importantly, the people they support.

We are actively engaging with the community organisations to confirm the groups that have been affected, and will be putting in place a simple process to ensure the monies can be deployed rapidly to the bodies most in need.”

Mark Rough at SSEN said: “We welcome the opportunity to contribute to this fund which will address the immediate financial need of community groups and charities.

Since the cable fault in October, we have worked closely with community generators to understand the impacts and insurance provision, which in many cases is insufficient to meet requirements. This support will continue alongside exploration of solutions that may allow for greater output until a new cable is connected.

“We’d like to thank the Comhairle for their efforts to bring together this collaborative solution.”