The Port of Cromarty Firth awarded over £20,000 to good causes in 2020 through its Community Sponsorship Programme.
The programme supported a variety of community projects and clubs that surround the Cromarty Firth, having widened the eligibility criteria in order to provide funding for COVID-19 community support initiatives.
Among those to receive Port funding in 2020 were CCAST Highland, which was awarded £1,000 towards ensuring vital foodbank and meal provision services were provided to vulnerable individuals and families affected by the current pandemic. A donation of £1,000 was also given to Cromarty Care, in order to provide school equipment and essential supplies for local vulnerable children and their families.
Other recipients included the Seaboard Centre, which received £1,000 for meal provision and food packs for local elderly residents. As a result of the award, the Seaboard Centre was able to provide over 120 meals, delivered twice a week, to those most at need within the community.
The Port of Cromarty Firth also awarded £5,000 towards the recently constructed Cromarty-Nigg Ferry Slipway, which will help protect the lifeline service and ensure a larger ferry can be operated which can take up to 16 cars and larger vehicles, such as motor homes.
Invergordon Golf Club were awarded a second year of funding to support their apprentice greenkeeper, while Saltburn and Westwood Community Council received £1,000 towards improvements to outdoor and rest areas in the community, such as sustainable benching.
Other local organisations awarded funding support included:
• Strathpeffer and District Rowing Club (£1,000)
• Invergordon Girls FC (£700)
• AbilityNet (£1,500)
• Invergordon Seafarers (£469)
• Invergordon Environment Group (£600)
• Culbokie Community Trust Limited (£1,139)
Bob Buskie, Chief Executive of the Port of Cromarty Firth, said: “The Port takes great pride in seeing the fantastic work that our Community Sponsorship Programme enables others to carry out within the community. The past 12 months have been challenging for the entire region, however the initiatives we have been able to support are a true testament to how the Cromarty Firth’s communities have pulled together to help those in need.
“COVID-19 has fostered a renewed community spirit and provided the Port with a fantastic insight into the invaluable work that takes place within the communities around the Firth. The Community Sponsorship Programme has never been more vital, and we look forward to once again supporting local projects and clubs in 2021.”
The Community Sponsorship Programme aspires to improve, safeguard and develop Cromarty Firth communities, for the benefit of the local people. One per cent of the Port’s surplus is channelled into the programme.
Community projects, schools or local charities based in one of the nine communities that border the Cromarty Firth are welcome to apply for support. They can do so by submitting an application form stating the project’s objectives, aspirations and the benefits to the community, along with a letter/email of support from their local Community Council. Projects must be collaborative and meet one of five eligibility criteria:
• Skills development, employability or job creation,
• Vessel crew or passenger support,
• Environmental protection or enhancement,
• Events or projects which encourage inter-community collaboration,
• COVID-19 related support to individuals, families, and vulnerable groups.
Application forms are available on the Port of Cromarty Firth website or from firstname.lastname@example.org.