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Frequently asked questions 

Below is a list of questions we hope will help you. If you still are not sure about something then please contact us here. The Fund is managed by volunteers; we will aim to get back to you with 48hrs.


How was the fund established? 

The Cawdor & West Nairnshire Community Benefit Organisation was set up in 2018 to administer funds from renewable energy operators to benefit the Cawdor & West Nairnshire community, with a particular emphasis to advance community development, including rural regeneration. To improve the quality of life, health, well-being and independence and to reduce social isolation of people in need by reason of age, ill-health, disability or social circumstances. To advance environmental protection or improvement, including maintenance, improvement or provision of environmental amenities, for the Community and the public.


Membership of the C&WNCBO is open to any individual over the age of 16 whose primary residence is in the Cawdor & West Nairnshire Community Council area. To become a member, residents should download and complete the C&WNCBO Membership Application Form or from any of the Trustees of the C&WNCBO.  The membership elects a Board of Trustees which is responsible for the administration of the trust.  The Board meets at least four times a year to determine the distribution of funding.  

How much money is available?

The fund available for grants is £63,000.00 per annum. Any excess money not spent in a financial year will be reinvested. 

What projects does the fund support?

C&WNCBO supports projects that seek improvement and make a difference to life in the local community, through the development and regeneration of the area.  It is keen to support community and voluntary organisations that are charitable, educational, philanthropic or benevolent in purpose. Projects must be based within and of direct benefit to residents of the Cawdor & West Nairnshire Community Council area.

Applications are welcome for projects that fit one or more of the following criteria:


  • Children and Young People  - Particularly projects aiming to improve access to activities and services, and where young people play a key role in decision making.

  • Carbon Reduction Projects - Projects helping to tackle climate change.

  • Vulnerable People - Particularly projects aiming to increase access to services and facilities for people with disabilities, the homeless and the elderly.

  • Community Regeneration - Particularly projects improving health and education, reducing crime levels, regenerating local employment, local services, recreational activities, housing and the physical environment. Projects for hosting events (including at festive occasions) which will improve interaction among members of the community and encourage the involvement of members of the community.

  • Community Buildings - Projects for the improvement and maintenance of buildings widely used by the community.

  • Self-help Groups - Projects providing self-help services in the local community.

  • Environment and Wildlife Projects - Particularly those projects involving the improvement of community land, including parkland, allotments and recreation grounds.

  • Education and Skills Development - Particularly community based programmes offered to those seeking access to training opportunities to improve their education and skills 

  • Health - Projects providing services that aim to improve the health and wellbeing of the community

  • Heritage - Projects that celebrate, protect and preserve local heritage for current and future generations

  • Sustainability - Projects promoting local sustainable development


In addition, the following aspects need to be demonstrated:


  • Need - Demonstrate that there is a clear need and support for the project. Please provide evidence of this.

  • Community Impact - Demonstrate the impact and duration on the community of the proposed project

  • Community Involvement - Demonstrate that the project is supported by committed and resourceful individuals

  • Value - Demonstrate the requested funding and project plan has been costed and the most appropriate quote has been chosen. Multiple quotes should be sourced if practical.

  • Organisation - Demonstrate an appropriate organisational structure,  with evidence of organisational ability and competence

What will not be funded?

Projects with the following characteristics will not be funded. Those that:

• are out with and of no stated benefit to the Cawdor & West Nairnshire Community Council area or its residents

• should be or are wholly funded by the local authority or other statutory bodies

• comprise improvement to land that is not open to the general public

• are commercial sponsorships

• promote religious or political activities

• are deficit or retrospective funding (i.e. for activities that have already taken place)

• the Cawdor & West Nairnshire Community Benefit Organisation (acting reasonably) are considered to be adverse to the interests of the renewable energy operators or other ‘community benefit’ funding bodies.

What is the application process?

C&WNCBO invites applications three times per year.  Application forms are available here. In exceptional circumstances C&WNCBO will review applications out with the standard  dates.

The application process is as follows:

  • Complete application form and submit, preferably by email to the C&WNCBO Secretary

  • C&WNCBO Secretary reviews the application and clarifies any information with the applicant 

  • All applications are reviewed by C&WNCBO Trustees applying the funding criteria as detailed below

  • The C&WNCBO Board discuss the application at its Board meeting and make a decision regarding the grant 

  • Applicants are informed of the grant funding decision

  • Applicants are required to report back one year after the application or once the project is complete, whichever is sooner

On what criteria will my application be assessed?

Each C&WNCBO Trustee completes an assessment form (illustrated below) to provide a measure of compliance with the criteria detailed above. The Trustees meet to compare their assessments and discuss and agree their joint decision over granting funds. A decision could be to approve full or partial funding for aspects of an application or to approve a grant subject to conditions. The decisions by the Trustees of C&WNCBO are final.

General Notes on the Assessment of Applications

  1. Applicants must ensure that need, support and impact on the community is evidenced in the application 

  2. Applicants must ensure that they have an appropriate organisational and legal structure

  3. Depending on the nature of the project further information may be requested by the Trustees previous to making a grant funding decision

  4. For capital projects evidence must be provided of ownership of the land/buildings

  5. Projects of over £50,000 may be subject to additional requirements regarding project and financial (business) planning before and during project implementation.

* Band 5 projects are also subject to separate requirements and evaluation criteria

What happens once a decision has been made?

All offer or refusal letters will be sent within a week of the meeting of the Trustees of C&WNCBO.  Offer letters will include any conditions imposed by the Trustees of C&WNCBO and attached will be the grant acceptance form. A copy of the grant acceptance form must be signed and returned to C&WNCBO before payments can be made. You should not commit any money before you have received your offer letter and conditions. Payment will be made by electronic bank transfer, so please ensure that your organisation/initiative has a bank account.

What is the timescale?

Grants will be usually provided for one year and should be committed that year. Further funding may be applied for in the following and or subsequent years. 

Grants will also be provided for longer term projects but these must be supported by a project plan and long term cashflow.

What are my responsibilities?

  1. All applicants must report back to Trustees of C&WNCBO at the end of the year following the grant award or at the end of the project, whichever is soonest.  A project feedback form will be provided with the grant acceptance letter.

  2. If applicable, suitable photographs should be provided to enable C&WNCBO to promote the projects it has invested in.

  3. Should you need to request a change of use for any funding you must submit your request in writing before committing or re-directing any funds.

  4. Applicants must disclose whether or not additional funding has been received or committed from other sources.

  5. Should the project be discontinued, Trustees of C&WNCBO must be notified immediately (giving clear reasons for discontinuing the project) and any remaining funding must be returned for re-distribution to other projects.

  6. Any press references with regards the project should refer to the funding source, by stating either “made possible by the Cawdor & West Nairnshire Community Benefit Organisation” or “part funded by the Cawdor & West Nairnshire Community Benefit Organisation”.

Preparing Your Application

How do I apply?

The application form can be found either on the C&WNCBO website under “Forms” or by contacting the C&WNCBO Secretary.  The form requests the essential information for the trustees to assess the application.  For higher value project applications, it is advisable to include more detail – it is preferable to include too much information rather than too little.

Applicants should recognise the criteria that will be used to assess projects, and ensure that all relevant evidence is provided with the application form.  Failure to do so may result in lack of recognition of the full value of a project.  Applicants may be asked to provide further information following receipt of the application.

What do I need to send with my application?

Ensure that you provide evidence to support your project as previously defined.  Please also provide details of all costs, quotes and project plans where appropriate.  In addition please include all or any of the following that are or might be considered relevant to your application.


1. A signed copy of your organisation’s latest governing document. - This may be a simple set of rules, a constitution or memorandum, and articles of association.


2. A copy of your organisation’s most recent accounts. - If you have been running for over one year please include a full set of accounts showing a breakdown of your annual income, expenditure and carry-forward balance. If you are a new organisation a recent bank statement and annual budget/cash flow forecast showing estimated income and expenditure is acceptable.  The accounts must be independently verified.


3. A copy of your child protection policy - If your organisation works with children or young people you will need to provide a copy of your child protection policy. 

4. A Disclosure Scotland Certificate - If your project involves working with children, young people or vulnerable people, you should provide a copy of a Disclosure Scotland Standard Certificate in respect of the individuals in your organisation who work with children, young people or vulnerable people.

5. A copy of your vulnerable persons policy. If your organisation works with vulnerable people aged 18 years or over you should provide a copy of your organisation’s policy. 


6. A letter of owner’s permissions if required. If your project requires the owner’s permission you should provide a letter from him/her to that effect.


7. Any relevant project plans and photographs. If your project involves an element of development, you should provide a location plan, photographs of the site, and plans/sketches showing what is proposed. You should provide documentation to show that planning permission has been obtained if required.


8. Details of your organisational structure.  Information regarding your legal and charitable structure must be provided

For more information please contact: C&WNCBO Secretary, Churchview, Cawdor, Nairn, IV12 5XP  Email:   Phone:  07768396834

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