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05/01/15 09:52

New Year boost for Scottish charities

Applications open for charges exemption scheme.

Charities and sports clubs across Scotland are set to be able to keep more of the money they raise in 2015 and pay less on bills.

Applications open today for a new scheme to assist eligible organisations with the payment of water and sewerage charges.

The Scottish Government scheme will mean that charities registered with the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) and Community Amateur Sports Clubs, which meet the scheme requirements and which have an income of less than £200,000 will no longer need to pay water and sewerage charges – and those with incomes between £200,000 and £300,000 will pay a reduced rate.

The new scheme takes effect from the new financial year starting on 1st April 2015 but application for the scheme can be made from today (January 5th). It will cost an estimated £6.5 million - £4.5 million from Scottish Water and the remainder from the Scottish Government.

Beneficiaries of the current scheme that ends on 31 March 2015 are automatically enrolled in the new scheme. They will receive a letter shortly from their Licensed Providers to confirm. All charities and Community Amateur Sports Clubs which are currently responsible for paying water and/or sewerage charges must apply for the new Scheme, but have till March 2016 to be included for help with their 2015-16 bills.

Further information on the new Scheme and the transitional measures for those that have benefited from the Scheme that ends on the 31 March 2015 are available at:

Alternatively charities and Community Amateur Sports Clubs can contact their Licensed Provider.

Infrastructure Secretary Keith Brown said:

“Charities and Community Amateur Sports Clubs make an important contribution to the well-being of communities up and down Scotland. It is important that they are supported.

“The new water and waste charges exemption scheme means eligible charities with an income of less than £200,000 will no longer have to pay anything – meaning more of their money can be used to support the valuable services that they provide. This replaces the current Scheme that everyone agrees is out-dated.

“Applications can be submitted from today and I’d encourage all charities and Community Amateur Sports Clubs to check their eligibility and apply as soon as possible. For those organisations in the current scheme, please note that you do not need to apply. You are automatically enrolled.

If today’s your first day back at your desk, make it your first task to see if your organisation can save some money.”

Notes to editors

The old scheme ceases on 31 March 2015 and this new scheme replaces it. Under the transitional arrangements, those organisations that are already beneficiaries of the current arrangements will be exempt from charges in 2015-16 and do not need to apply to receive support during 2015-16. In the coming months licensed providers will contact their existing beneficiaries to advise them what they need to do for 2016-17.

Charities and Community Amateur Sports Clubs that are currently paying for water services should check whether they are eligible for the new scheme and submit an application as soon as possible.