Annex B: Community Benefit Case Studies
The Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust (launched in 2011) covering Ardgay and Creich districts seeks to secure long-term, sustainable benefits and opportunities for both the local community, and the wider region.
Community benefit from three onshore wind farms; SSE Achany, E.ON Rosehall, and Beinn Thauirsinn has supported the Trust in taking forward a variety of projects of real value to local communities and visitors alike, including;
Falls of Shin Visitor Centre
The rebuilt Falls of Shin Visitor Centre (originally destroyed by fire in 2013) opened earlier this year, offering locals and visitors to the area a range of services including a restaurant and gift shop, picnic and children's play facilities, meeting and wedding facilities, crazy golf, woodland walks and the opportunity to see wild salmon leap the Falls.
Since its opening in May the centre has seen in excess of 90,000 visitors.
Ardgay Regeneration Project
The Ardgay Regeneration Project encompassing the demolition of a derelict hotel site in the centre of Ardgay village creating a new, mixed use site with a village square, 200 square metres of office rental space, and storage space for a local expanding business. The project also includes 4 terraced houses (developed by Albyn Housing Association), and 1 self-build plots for sale through The Highland Small Communities Housing Trust.
As well as contributing to economic regeneration in the local area and creating jobs, it is hoped that Ardgay on completion will also complement future investment from the private sector and surrounding communities.
Keep Active Together
Part funded by community benefit (as well as the Scottish Government's People and Communities Fund) the Keep Active Together Project provides a range of health and wellbeing activities, training opportunities, and sessional work for local communities.
Over the last 4 years, community benefit flowing in from onshore wind has helped Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust to secure £5.5 million in key inward investment to the local area that would otherwise not have materialised.
Hoprigshiels - 'The Fishermen Three' (Wynken, Blynken and Nod)
Hoprigshiels Wind Farm developed by Berwickshire Housing Association (BHA) in partnership with Community Energy Scotland (CES) was opened by Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse MSP on the 28 March 2017. This is the first wind farm developed by a Housing Association in the UK.
The 7.5 MW, 3 turbine wind farm will generate an estimated 25 GWh each year, enough to power around 6000 homes.
The windfarm is expected to generate £20 million over the next 25 years, enabling BHA to build 500 new affordable homes, to meet demand in the local area.
In line with the Scottish Government's Good Practice Principles, BHA has committed to provide an annual community benefit payment of £5000 per megawatt of installed capacity, which equates to around £37,500 per year or £1 million over the life time of the project.
These future funds will be split equally between the Oldhamstocks Community Association, and Cockburnspath and Cove Community Council, directly benefitting local communities, and allowing them to take forward a wide range of local projects.
Clashindarroch Wind Farm, Aberdeenshire
Swedish developer Vattenfall set up their Clashindarroch wind farm community benefit fund three years ago. The fund provides an annual sum of £185,000 (index linked) for the benefit of those living or working in the community council areas of Huntly, Strathbogie, and Tap O Noth, and the area of Cabrach in Moray (the wind farm is near the Moray border).
Cabrach is a remote area, which over the decades has suffered severe depopulation. In response to this, the Cabrach Trust, a social enterprise, was established to preserve the rich cultural heritage of area and its remote communities, and to attempt to attract business to the area and support local people to set up businesses.
The Trust owns Inverharroch Farm and 170 acres of land surrounding this, and is leading a regeneration project that will develop a heritage centre and a historic craft whisky distillery at the site, as well as refurbishing a cluster of buildings (the Old Cabrach Hall, the Acorn Centre and the Old School House) to provide a community facility, visitor accommodation and a training hub. Any profits from the distillery, heritage centre, visitor accommodation and letting of the training facility will be used to further benefit local people, providing jobs, housing, and local services in the area.