An independent panel has been established to review applications and determine which projects will receive funding from the £3 million Beatrice Partnership Fund.
The Beatrice Partnership Fund, which was launched in December 2016, is part of a wider package of benefits being offered by the Beatrice project.
The expert panel will meet for the first time in Inverness at the end of March to make decisions on the first round of applications. The panel will be chaired by Fraser Grieve from the Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI). The fund will operate over five years with £2 million available for Caithness and Sutherland and £1 million available for Moray.
The panel consists of:
David Shearer - Fund Co-ordinator at the Caithness and North Sutherland Fund
Fraser Grieve - Highlands and Islands Regional Director, Scottish Council for Development & Industry
Professor James Hunter - Emeritus Professor of History at the University of the Highlands and Islands and former Chairman of Highlands and Islands Enterprise
Sarah Medcraf - Chief Executive of Moray Chamber of Commerce
Morven Smith - Head of Community Investment, SSE
Each of the panel members brings a wealth of experience from their particular areas of expertise. The administration of the fund is being carried out by SSE's Community Investment team.
The fund aims to support larger projects that are potentially transformational in nature with particular focus on jobs and skills; community resilience; and enhancing the environment.
The fund is open to community groups, charities and non-profit-making organisations from the east coast communities in Caithness and Sutherland, and the coastal communities in Moray. It will support projects which promote skills development, community energy developments or improve the built and natural environment.
To find out more about the Partnership Fund, please click here.
You can find out more about each of the panel members below:
David Shearer, Fund Co-ordinator at the Caithness and North Sutherland Fund
David also sits on the Highland LEADER Caithness Local Action Group and has considerable experience within the funding environment and a good knowledge of the community development activity across the Caithness and North Sutherland area.
Fraser Grieve, Highlands and Islands Regional Director, Scottish Council for Development & Industry
Fraser has headed up the (SCDI) operations in the Highlands, Islands and Moray since January 2012, and is responsible for ensuring the economic opportunities and challenges of the area are recognised both within SCDI and by policy makers across Scotland and the UK. Fraser also sits on the Inverness & Highland City-Region Deal Programme Board and the Highlands & Islands Regional Skills Investment Board.
Professor James Hunter, Emeritus Professor of History at the University of the Highlands and Islands
Jim Hunter is Emeritus Professor of History at the University of the Highlands and Islands. Between 1998 and 2004 he was chairman of Highlands and Islands Enterprise and is the author of eleven books about the region. He is also an award-winning journalist and broadcaster. Professor Hunter was made a CBE in 2001. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2007.
Sarah Medcraf, Chief Executive of Moray Chamber of Commerce
Sarah has been Chief Executive of Moray Chamber of Commerce for over two years and her role also extends to overseeing Moray Speyside Tourism. Sarah is also Director of Developing the Young Workforce in Moray (DYW). This programme, currently funded by Scottish Government, aims to bridge the gap between education and employment and make the young people ready for the world of work whilst working with the local labour market to meet demands.
Morven Smith, Head of Community Investment, SSE
Morven was appointed Head of Community Investment for SSE in August 2016. Prior to this she had carried out a number of roles since joining the company in 1997. Since 2007 Morven has worked in Corporate Affairs, focused mainly on communications and community engagement. Morven is responsible for overseeing the administration of the company’s 27 community investment funds and its employee volunteering programme.