Climate Challenge Fund Advice Surgeries


The Scottish Government’s Climate Challenge Fund (CCF) has made 563 awards to the value of over £46.9 million since its launch in 2008. The fund helps community groups who have projects designed to help reduce their carbon footprint, and funded projects in the past have included community growing projects, initiatives to reduce, reuse and recycle and energy efficiency advice.

To encourage potential applicants, the Scottish Government will be holding two further advice surgeries in the Highlands and Islands next week to provide information to local community groups and interested parties. These will be held between 9.30am and 12.30pm on Tuesday 23rd July at the Merkinch Community Centre in Inverness and between 9.30am and 2pm on Thursday 25th July at the Comhairle nan Eilean Siar Council Building in Stornoway (with videolinks to the Council Offices in Balivanich and Barra).

I would encourage any and all community groups with any ideas to pop along to these events in Inverness and Stornoway to hear more from the CCF. More information can be found at their website.


Funding announced today, worth over £100,000 to the Highlands and Islands, to help young people find work has been welcomed by Jean Urquhart MSP.

The Shirlie Project, based in Inverness but with offices throughout the Highlands and Islands, has been granted £106,952 by the Scottish Government to help continue its work in supporting individuals into work.

The money from the Scottish Government’s Third Sector and Social Enterprise Challenge Fund – spread across 24 organisations nationally – will mean over 2000 young people are given the chance to improve their employability.

Mrs Urquhart, SNP MSP for the Highlands and Islands region, said:

“This is excellent news for both Inverness and the Highlands & Islands as a whole.

“The Shirlie Project, like so many other organisations across the Highlands and Islands, does sterling work in helping people find employment in their chosen field.

“In the current economic climate, it’s vital that we continue to support organisations like the Shirlie Project wherever we can, so I’m delighted to see this work being supported by the Scottish Government.”

Press Release: Jean Urquhart MSP Urges Community Groups to Apply for Funding (June 20th)

Jean Urquhart has encouraged local community groups throughout the Highlands and Islands to apply for the latest round of People’s Postcode Trust funding. The Trust funds small, community-based projects across the UK, with £4.1 million allocated to 748 projects since it was established in 2009.

Jean Urquhart, a Highlands and Islands SNP MSP, said:

“In these tough economic times, funding from the third sector can make the difference for the numerous community projects that run in the Highlands and Islands and indeed for the people that benefit from them.

“The focus of the People’s Postcode Trust on granting sums of £500-£10,000 to small, local projects undoubtedly affords groups across the Highlands and Islands a fantastic opportunity to secure funding that will allow them continue their invaluable work across the community.

“I would urge any community project in the area to apply during the next funding round, which runs from July 9th– August 24th.”

Press Release: Highlands and Islands MSP Highlights Funding Opportunities (June 7th)

SNP Highlands and Islands MSP Jean Urquhart today highlighted the establishment of a one-off funding programme aimed at enabling people to learn more about their local heritage.

All Our Stories, a programme instigated by the Heritage Lottery Fund, is offering grants of between £3,000 and £10,000 to new projects that are expected to promote heritage-related activities in local areas across the UK.

Jean Urquhart MSP has urged local groups to consider applying for grants, stating:

“Every corner of Scotland has a rich and vibrant history spanning centuries. As a Member of the Education and Culture Committee, I am aware of how our collective history can enrich the present, and help to bring communities together.”

“I would encourage any community group currently investigating heritage projects to apply before the July 31 deadline, and to help bring their projects to fruition. With funding on offer, the benefits for all parts of the community from these potential projects are too good to miss.”