Westray Development TrustNews

3 years of Westray Fuel Grants!

At Westray Development Trust we’re finishing up our fourth round of Westray Fuel Grants. Since winter 2019 we’ve awarded 933 Fuel Grants, that’s £188,800 of funding that has directly supported Westray households with their energy bills. As we’re an island of about 600 people with fewer than 300 households that is a huge number!

The Westray Fuel Grant was first established in response to the high levels of fuel poverty and a higher cost of living recorded in the North Isles. In recognition that all are affected in different ways by these higher costs in our community, and the firm belief that a universal grant would reduce stigma ensuring the grant reached those who needed it most, the WDT Board agreed to make a Fuel Grant available to all Westray households (excludes second homes, holiday lets, and businesses). Until this point, this Fuel Grant has been reviewed annually and based on available underspend from previous WDT financial years.

Winter 2019 – A £150 fuel grant was available per household.

April 2020 – £200 (Extra grant in recognition of the additional impacts of COVID-19)

Winter 2020/21 – £150

Winter 2021/22 – £300

However, as of March 2022, the WDT Board has agreed to make the Fuel Grant a permanent fund (available each winter) to ensure that this grant program becomes a priority for WDT. This means WDT will ensure that there is funding available for this grant program every winter rather than it being dependent on previous underspends. The grant will still be reviewed annually to ensure it remains in keeping with the needs of the Westray community.

In order to pre-empt the predicted energy price rises in Winter 2022 the Winter 2022/23 Fuel Grant will be launched in early September with payments being processed before Christmas 2022. The amount available per household will be announced closer to the time.

We’re still processing the remaining Winter 2021/22 grants so please be patient as applications only closed at the end of February 2022. If you haven’t received your Fuel Grant by the end of March 2022 please get in touch then.

A HUGE amount of work goes into organising and processing the fuel grants so we’d like to give a special shout out to our Finance Officer Margo Makin, our Treasurer Gill McEwen, the local post offices/shops, and everyone who has helped out for all their hard work.

Ongoing worries about your heating bills?

Between Westray Fuel Grants we recommend you contact THAW Orkney for support as well as Warmworks Orkney who have the local Orkney Islands Council contract for delivering funded home improvements for energy efficiency e.g. new insulation.