MEMBER NEWS: Celebrating the impact of climate-smart funding in the north east of Scotland

October 10, 2022
MEMBER NEWS: Celebrating the impact of climate-smart funding in the north east of Scotland

Vattenfall’s Unlock Our Future fund has awarded nearly half a million pounds to over 50 climate-smart projects over the past four years in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.

In September 2022 an event was held to celebrate the achievements of the Vattenfall Unlock our Future Fund, which supports projects in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire contributing towards a climate-smart future. The event was attended by dozens of community groups and charities who have received awards since 2019, along with members of the local panel who made decisions on awards  and representatives from Vattenfall.

In 2022, 12 awards were made totalling £140,375. This means in the first four years of the fund a total of 52 awards have been made with £482,972 in funding allocated to projects which are investing in community facilities which are fit for the future.

Opening the event, Mimi Mwasame, Stakeholder and Community Engagement Manager at Vattenfall said:

“It is an honour for me to stand here on behalf of Vattenfall and meet such great minded, enthusiastic and climate-smart and environmentally driven community champions. Your projects support Vattenfall’s business strategy of becoming Fossil Free within one generation in various ways including contributing to a climate–smarter world with sustainability at its core, ensuring a legacy and lasting impact which brings benefit to the local community.

Among the community groups receiving awards who shared their plans with the group were:

  • Inverurie Loco Works Football Club who received £15,000 to upgrade the floodlights to LED floodlights creating substantial energy savings and ensuring that the facility can effectively run and remain a vital part of the community.
  • Charlie House who are creating a purpose-built, specialist care centre in Grampian to support children with life-limiting or life-threatening conditions, and their families, through their palliative and end of life care needs. The £30,000 awarded by the Unlock Our Future fund will go towards the cost of including sustainable elements in the build to lower the carbon footprint of the project including effective insulation, double glazing, and photovoltaic panels.
  • Alford Valley Community Railway is a Community Benefit Society who are committed to re-instating the Alford Valley narrow gauge railway that fell in a state of disrepair in 2017. When the railway is back up and running it will be a thriving and popular visitor attraction for Alford. They were awarded £15,000 towards the cost of ensuring the project is a low carbon and low energy efficient community venue.

Dr Susan Osbeck, the Chair of the decision-making panel for the fund, reflected on the achievements of funded projects so far:

“Since the Unlock our Future Fund began, the panel have seen an amazing selection of inspiring projects, that are helping to improve our environment and communities. This year has been no exception, with many great applications being received. It was wonderful to be able to celebrate the success of our awardees in person this time, and to hear how successful the projects of past awardees have been. The panel and I wish this year’s awardees similar success.”

The fund will be reopening for applications in the spring of 2023.

Get in touch

AREG is the original energy transition organisation, working on behalf of members to empower the energy supply chain and champion its expertise. Please get in touch if you have any questions or would like to find out more about membership.

AREG has played an important role in the growth of Scotland’s renewable energy sector, engaging the supply chain and developing the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre. However, we are only at the very beginning of the transition that AREG was established to both lead and support so there are still opportunities for companies to get into the constantly evolving renewables supply chain. We look forward to continuing our work together as renewables builds on its place as Scotland’s main source of power, and as we seek to deliver real change in the crucial areas of heat and transport.

Scottish Renewables

Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce has worked closely with AREG since its formation. The recent progress in the developments of offshore wind projects by Equinor and Vattenfall are as a result of the work of the group over many years. The north-east is known as the oil and gas capital of Europe. At the Chamber, we believe the region must evolve its position to being recognised as the energy capital. Whilst hydrocarbons will continue to be essential in driving our economy for years to come, the generation of renewable resources will play an increasingly important role in providing cost-effective power, innovative development and economic growth.

Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce

The enthusiasm and dedication of the early group that would become AREG was fundamental in us choosing to launch All-Energy in Aberdeen. The first tiny show was held in 2001, and AREG’s Chairman at the time, Jeremy Cresswell, played such an active role that I often describe him in terms such as All-Energy’s ‘midwife’. All-Energy is now the UK’s largest renewable and low carbon energy exhibition and conference in terms of number of attendees, space booked, and number of exhibiting companies. As AREG became firmly established, their presence and support for the event grew spectacularly over the years. We thank them most sincerely for their invaluable input.


Vattenfall has forged a strong working relationship with AREG through the development of the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre. AREG has worked tirelessly on behalf of the North East and it can take enormous credit for the growth of sustainable energy in the region and the path it has cleared for the region to capture further investment.


Aberdeen City and Shire is emerging as a key location for renewables by successfully transferring its world-class oil and gas expertise into the sector and AREG has done much to advance this through a broad range of initiatives. It has acted as a catalyst in driving further investment in the local economy by engaging with companies, Government, public bodies and existing projects and we have been pleased to support their efforts. Scottish Enterprise will continue to engage with AREG as we increase Scotland’s use of renewable energy.

Scottish Enterprise