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RWE Innogy Lochelbank Community Fund

01 January 2014

Where: The two community council areas of Glenfarg and Bridge of Earn within Perth and Kinross
Fund value: Base of £20,000 per annum (RPI indexed) from the 9.6MW RWE npower Lochelbank Wind Farm
Date established: 2011
Administration: Foundation Scotland administers the Fund including assessing applications.
Governance: A community panel comprised of local community councillors and representatives of the wider community makes decisions on awards.
Website: /programmes/lochelbank.aspx

Establishing the Fund
The area of benefit was defined as the two community council areas local to the wind farm. After some initial discussions about how much each area should receive and what the split should be it was eventually agreed that there would be a nominal 50/50 distribution of the funds across the two areas. This has not been strictly enforced so there is some flexibility to be able to support the best projects and applications.

The panel includes three members from each community, one of whom needs to be a member of the community council. Foundation Scotland, as administrators of the fund, provided training for the Panel on issues like meeting procedures, assessment and working together as a Panel. Community Council representatives report back to their respective community councils on the work of the Panel and decisions made. Funding decisions and forthcoming deadlines are also advertised in the local press. There is a page on the Foundation Scotland website with the application form and guidelines for the fund and local community websites also fund information.

Determining fund purposes and criteria
The Fund was originally established with some broad criteria which would accommodate most types of community activity. In due course, some of the Glenfarg Panel members were concerned about whether they were approving awards for the types of projects that were most needed and which the community most wish to see supported. In response to this a strategy for the fund is being developed informed by some communtiy consultation that community representatives themselves have conducted with some support from Foundation Scotland. It is hoped that a community plan will assist with future Fund distribution and also help local groups put forward the case for support for applications to other funding bodies.

How does the community access the funds?
The panel meets three times a year to review applications. Groups can apply for grants between £250 and £2000. Micro grants of up to £250 are also available which are administered directly from the two local community councils throughout the year. These grants support projects put forward by individuals or groups that are not formally constituted but are providing a service or activity of benefit to the community.

Management and Administration
Applications to the fund are independently assessed by Foundation Scotland prior to each panel meeting at which the panel then decides which applications to support. Foundation Scotland monitor the outcomes of each project and provide a report back to the Panel on the outcomes once projects have been completed.

Achieving Impact by improving and enhancing local facilities
Forgandenny Village Hall is a valued local community space which serves a small number of local groups in Forgandenny village as well as being the venue for regular concerts and other local events. The hall is a converted church and, following a refurbishment programme, now provides a flexible space for users which include keep fit and dance groups, a badminton club and various school activities. The kitchen however was not fit for purpose and a grant of £2000 enabled an upgrade of the facility. As a result of this, the committee running the hall can now provide hot food for functions and can now be more ambitious in its catering provision at events . The new equipment also provides for a more efficient and safer working environment. . Additionally, the hall is now being promoted for private functions to help generate essential additional income to meet overheads & operating costs.

The Bridge of Earn Institute was gifted to the local community in 1908 and is used regularly by a host of groups running various recreational clubs and activities for different members of the community. The Hall Committee has embarked on a programme to upgrade the hall and improve its energy efficiency . Some of this work has already been completed including replacement of some windows with double glazing.  A grant of £1,830 enabled the Committee to replace the boiler which was old, inefficient and below specification. All hall users are now benefiting from a more effective heating system and the Committee from reduced heating costs.

A grant of £2,000 was made to the committee of Glenfarg Village Hall to investigate and draw up plans for the development of an area of waste ground at the rear of the Hall. A further grant of £2,000 contributed a small amount towards the creation of a small car park and a landscaped area along with improved access to the Glenfarg Green. Parking and access has improved and youth groups now have the opportunity to use the outdoor area which links to the park. Hire options now include outdoor as well as indoor use.


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