Over 70% of stakeholders show support for SSEN Transmission’s community benefit fund plans.
The fund will see local people benefit directly from the transmission network infrastructure they host for the first time.
SSEN Transmission will now further refine its Community Benefit Fund plans and, where invited to do so in the responses, will follow up with individual organisations to gather further insight ahead of the UK Government’s recommendations and guidance from its recent consultation, being published later this year.
After that, the company expects to formally launch its first ever Community Benefit Fund in 2024.
Once it’s up-and-running, the fund will enable over £10m to be spent on delivering a sustainable and positive legacy for the communities that are hosting large net zero infrastructure assets in the Highlands, Aberdeenshire, Orkney, Shetland, Angus and Argyll.
Earlier this year, SSEN Transmission launched a consultation to seek views on plans for its first ever community benefit scheme, which will see the company working with communities across the north of Scotland to channel funds into vital local projects.
The north of Scotland transmission network is set to provide over 15% of the UK’s total carbon reduction required to deliver 2050 net zero targets.
SSEN Transmission believes new funds should recognise the vital role that local communities in the area will play in hosting the transmission infrastructure that is required to help to make net zero a reality.
The six-week long consultation with various stakeholders from across the north of Scotland encouraged participants to share their views on the initial planning for development of the fund.
The consultation concluded with the company receiving around 140 responses from local residents, authorities and other interested parties.
The company has published a detailed report that shows strong support for the fund proposals, with over 70% of those who responded indicating their support for the initiative.
The feedback has been rich in terms of sharing on-the-ground experience and generous in its desire to achieve the best possible outcome for communities likely to fall into the proposed scope for the fund.