What community groups have received the Highlands and Islands Climate Change Community grant funding?

We’ve offered grants of up to £4,500 to support ten community groups in the Highlands and Islands to work with a researcher to run a project on a local climate change issue that matters to them.

The ten successful projects that have received funding offer a wide breadth of different topics themes, and geographical reach. 

Take a look at the projects here

Will there be a later round of grants? 

This has not been agreed at present, but we want to build new networks as part of this grant – and are keen to ensure that need is also captured as part of the process. This information can then be shared with our funder and other local/regional/national Scottish organisations. 

What is a community? 

This could be any group of individuals sharing experiences, characteristics, interests or needs, within one of the areas covered by the grants programme. The community does not need to be a formal group or organisation and applications can be made by an individual. 

Who is a community member or leader?

To apply for a grant, you will need to have an established relationship with individuals from a community. You will have access to the community and have built-up trust with its members, often - but not always - through being actively involved yourself. 

What is a research professional? 

A research professional could be someone currently working in a university, the NHS or for a health charity or social enterprise, or they could be an independent expert. They will have a record of carrying out and publishing research. 

What is research? 

Research is the careful, detailed and rigorous exploration or investigation of an idea or problem to create new knowledge or ways of doing things. 

What role will the researcher play? 

The aim is that the researcher responds to and works with the community, bringing in their expertise to support and develop the idea/project/activity. This is not about a 'one off' consultancy or advisory role, but to collaborate together. 

How and when is a researcher matched with a community? 

If you do not have a researcher in mind, successful applications will be matched with a relevant researcher in February and March (see our guidelines for further information on this). 

How do we estimate the cost of the researcher? 

Consider researcher expenses such as travel in your budget. We envisage the majority of researcher costs will be covered 'in kind' by their university or organisation. However, once projects and researchers have been matched there is an opportunity to revise budgets if necessary. The intention is the budget should mainly support community costs. 

How long should my project run?

It is anticipated that the projects will last up to 6 or 7 months. Activity should start in April and finish by the end of September 2022. There will be evaluation and a final celebration in October 2022.

What can funding be spent on?

Grant money can be used for the following:

  • Project-specific staff costs – salaries or fees for people who are essential to the project and whose salaries aren’t already covered by another grant
  • Researcher costs – salaries or fees for researchers that aren't already covered by another grant or by their own salary. You should allow a contingency budget for researcher expenses, in particular for their travel costs.
  • Materials and equipment essential for the project
  • Travel and subsistence costs
  • Room hire and catering
  • Publicity
  • Speakers and trainers
  • Reasonable volunteer expenses
  • Other costs of activities associated with the grant
  • Overheads for the community group – these can only account for a maximum of 10% of your grant. These are the indirect expenses of running your project, sometimes called “core costs” 

Is there anything I cannot spend the funding on?

The grant cannot be spent on:

  • Single-use disposable items
  • Costs incurred before your proposed project starts
  • Activities/partnerships outside the UK
  • Emergency, top-up, or maintenance funding
  • Loans, investments, or capital costs
  • Delivery of frontline services, such as healthcare services or interventions

What type of project constitutes a climate change project? 

The project/activity should reflect climate change issues that matter to your community.  

For example projects/activities could (but are not required to) link to themes such as:  

  • How we grow and eat food (food and farming) 
  • How to travel sustainably (sustainable transport)How to source and use sustainable power (energy, renewables) 
  • How and where we will live in the future (e.g. housing, de/repopulation, migration) 
  • How to manage waste and consumption (waste management and consumption, circular economies) and; 
  • How to protect our natural environment and biodiversity (the natural environment and biodiversity e.g. addressing flooding, water shortage, habitat protection). 

For more information and ideas on project themes, visit our guidelines. 

What if my group doesn’t have a group bank account?

It is alright to apply if your group does not have a group bank account and a personal bank account has to be used. However, if a personal bank account is used, we will ask for receipts to demonstrate how the funding was spent, which is not required for funding that goes into a group bank account.

Can a charity with Scottish Government funding apply for the grant? 

Yes, a project of this kind could be suitable. However, please check grant criteria in our guidelines. It is also worth noting we cannot fund activity that has already occurred.

Will community applicants get feedback on the Expression of Interest form before making an application? 

We won't be replying to the EOIs however, if you want support with a part of your application, please do get in touch on [email protected] 

For more information please visit:

The 10 organisations awarded the Highlands and Islands Climate Change Community Grants

Highlands and Islands Climate Change Community Grant homepage


Is your question unanswered? Please get in touch on [email protected].