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80 delegates to share learning at Foundation Scotland Community Benefit Seminar

26 August 2013

On Tuesday 27th August, over 80 delegates will come together at Easterbook Hall, Dumfries to attend a seminar to share learning on community benefit funding from renewable energy developments. The event is being organised and facilitated by Foundation Scotland. Delegates from community councils, local councillors and development organisations will discuss how best to achieve impact with community benefit funding.

This is the second seminar on community benefit run by Foundation Scotland which currently works alongside 68 community councils throughout Scotland. Speakers include community representatives from other areas keen to share their experiences with communities in the Dumfries and Galloway area. Andrew Mellor, Acting Chair of Glenkens Community and Arts Trust and member of Glenkens Community Benefit Committee will welcome delegates. The committee was set up to help all community councils around New Galloway address some of the challenges they face in relation to wind farm community benefit funds in their area.

Foundation Scotland takes an open and collaborative approach to help communities manage funds in a way that is informed, effective and efficient, supporting bespoke good governance, distribution and delivery arrangements and sharing good practice. It has been involved with 31 Community Benefit funds throughout Scotland disbursing nearly £2m each year and has gained a wealth of knowledge in community benefit funding as a result.

Rachel Searle-Mbullu, Head of Community Investment adds, “The seminars are part of a wider programme to share learning and best practice. We have also set up a protocol group drawing together community representatives from areas where the Foundation is involved in such funds. The group will produce guidance aimed at helping communities when faced with incoming funds so they don’t have to learn the hard way.”

“We are also developing a range of case studies covering fund management and the positive impact for communities brought about through community benefit funds, which will be soon be available on our website.”

The day long programme will explore emerging policy, practice and learning around what is being increasingly recognised as an unprecedented opportunity for communities. What needs to be in place to achieve social and economic impact and what are the different models of governing and managing funds that enable and support a community-led approach. Perspectives will come from a variety of speakers from communities to developers.”

Fergus Ewing, MSP, Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism will address delegates on the Scottish Government’s policy on community benefits and the support they are putting in place to help communities and developers reach agreement on how those funds are delivered.


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