The Fallago Environment Fund, which shares the benefits of the Hermes Infrastructure and EDF Renewables owned Fallago Rig Wind Farm in the Lammermuir Hills with projects across the Scottish Borders, has launched a special £100,000 Covid-19 grant scheme to help Borders residents recover from the impact of the coronavirus crisis and lockdown.
With the lifting of restrictions expected to happen in stages and social distancing due to continue for many months, the limited-lifetime Covid-19 Recovery Grant Programme is aimed at projects that improve quality of life and wellbeing and help to reduce the negative impact of social isolation for local residents. Grants of between £500 and £5,000 will be available and priority will be given to small organisations with local impact which are delivering recovery projects that would not happen or would be significantly delayed without this support.
Potential projects could include the maintenance of assets such as recreation areas, footpaths or community woodlands so that people can use them more easily, projects involving better use of community gardens or allotments, activities required to support social distancing measures, eg assets such as signage, or anything that will help people to exercise safely.
Voluntary and community organisations operating in the Scottish Borders and the Parish of Gifford are eligible to apply for grants which the Fund managers, Roxburghe Estates, EDF Renewables and Hermes Infrastructure, hope will address funding gaps not currently covered by existing government and charitable initiatives.
Gareth Baird, Chairman, Fallago Environment Fund said;
“The Fallago Environment Fund is very aware of the far-reaching impact Covid-19 is having on the physical, mental and economic wellbeing of Borders residents. While there are many Government and charitable initiatives addressing immediate hardship, we wanted to find a way to assist local communities to recover as quickly as possible through projects that help provide a positive and healing environment. The Borders is renowned for its community spirit and we hope that this Fund can help to support local residents as we all navigate through this unprecedented crisis.”
The limited-lifetime Covid-19 Recovery Grant Programme will be administered by The Bridge – a Scottish Borders community development charity which has offices in Galashiels, Jedburgh and Peebles. Funding deadlines will be announced every two to three weeks to allow applications to keep pace with the evolving situation and ensure grants are allocated in the most effective way.
In order to make an immediate difference, decisions will be made within seven working days of each deadline with grant payments made up front. Costs can be for capital or revenue with a minimum project cost of £500. If the overall project costs more than £5,000, match funding must already be in place.
Morag Walker, Executive Officer, The Bridge, said:
“We are delighted to be working with the Fallago Environment Fund to support local communities in their efforts to recover from the impact of Covid-19. We will be working hard to get this much- needed funding out to where it will do most good, in the shortest possible time.”