The following is an article written by David Watson, Development Manager for Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust
As you will be aware, as a result of Scottish Government budget cuts, KoSDT have been unsuccessful in our bid to the Climate Challenge Fund (CCF) to continue to deliver The Energy Advice Service (TEAS) across Sutherland, despite the application being recommended for approval. This has resulted in the loss of the service and the loss of 3 highly valued members of staff.
CCF is the Scottish fund set up to tackle climate change through reducing local carbon emissions. However, the budget to support new projects through the CCF was cut from £5 million last year to £2 million this year. Only 22 schemes were funded in 2019, compared to 65 in 2018. 43 projects, including the application from KoSDT, that were recommended for approval by an independent panel, were not funded. This is despite repeated declarations from SG that we are in the midst of a climate emergency.
Community-owned social enterprises are at the heart of both urban and rural Scotland. Food co-operatives, development trusts, community-owned energy, social housing and much more are being run by, of and for the community.