Orkney Islands Council
Working together for a better Orkney

Community Development Fund

On 2 April 2012, Orkney Islands Council re-opened its Community Development Fund (CDF) to new applications, with a further £1M available to local community projects.

The original Community Development Fund for the New Millennium was established in 1999 with a £2M budget which supported a wide range of local projects, such as:

  • Development of an indoor riding school at the Market Stance in St Ola.
  • Establishment of a community garden area - Firth Park - in Finstown.
  • Creation of a 9-hole golf course in South Ronaldsay.
  • The development of a small boat slipway in Deerness.
  • Improvements to the Harray Hall.

This first round of community funding was followed in 2005 by the establishment of the CDF with a £1M budget, with a further £1M being approved in 2009.  Projects assisted by the CDF to date include:

  • Refurbishment of the St Andrews Community Centre.
  • An extension to the Westray Heritage Centre.
  • The improvement and extension of the community-managed water supply in Papa Westray.
  • The construction of a new community hall for Birsay.
  • Refurbishment of play parks at Holm and Stromness and on Sanday, Shapinsay and Rousay.C
  • Creation of the Lurdy Heritage Centre on Flotta.
  • Renovation of the Rendall football pitch.
  • Development of new exhibition areas at the Orkney Fossil and Heritage Centre on Burray.

Over the past 13 years of the CDF, the Council has committed almost £3.7M to a wide range of local community projects.

Grant assistance of up to 50%, up to a maximum CDF grant of £100,000, will normally be available towards projects with capital costs of at least £5,000.

A key feature of the CDF is the flexible eligibility criteria, which gives local community groups considerable scope to develop a wide range of project proposals.

Any formally-constituted community group can apply: in the past community councils, development trusts, community associations, heritage societies and many other local community groups have successfully bid for funding.

Applicants seeking funding for social enterprise-type projects should seek to exhaust all other funding possibilities (e.g. LEADER, HIE) before applying to the CDF.

How Can My Group Apply?

You can visit Customer Services and ask for an information pack or download the relevant documents in PDF from the Related Downloads section of this webpage.

You can also request these documents by e-mail, by telephoning the Council’s Business Gateway service on 01856886666 or by calling into the Business Gateway at 14 Queen Street, Kirkwall.

Prospective applicants are encouraged to discuss their project proposals with a member of the CDF Project Team prior to submitting a completed application.


By email to Customer Services.

In writing or in person to Customer Services, Orkney Islands Council, School Place, Kirkwall, Orkney KW15 1NY.

By telephone on 01856873535.

By fax to 01856874615.