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Secondment arrangement enhances Foundation Scotland’s support to the Highlands and Islands

12 August 2014

Foundation Scotland is delighted to announce that Eilidh Gunn of Highland consultancy Caithness Renewables Ltd will be seconded to their Community Engagement team from mid August.

Eilidh will continue to operate out of Caithness Renewables’ Thurso office working two days a week for Foundation Scotland on an initial trial period. She will work closely with Carol Elliot, Foundation Scotland’s Highland based Community Engagement Executive.

Foundation Scotland hopes that this modest growth to its team will enable their community engagement work to be better supported, particularly in Caithness and Sutherland.

In Caithness, Foundation Scotland currently administers funds affecting Watten, Tannach & District and Latheron, Lybster and Clyth and is also now working with community members in Dunnet & Canisbay to establish the Stroupster Fund that will become operational next year.

In Sutherland, Foundation Scotland administers funds affecting Lairg, Creich, Ardgay & District and is also familiar with Golspie, Rogart, Brora and Helmsdale communities and some island communities from other community benefit fund activity. Alongside fund management work in Caithness, Foundation Scotland is also working with the Dounreay Stakeholder Group to follow up on the Caithness Conversation work it undertook last year on behalf of RWE Innogy.

Announcing the appointment, Rachel Searle-Mbullu, Foundation Scotland’s Head of Community Investment said, “Working with communities on community funds is quite a complex process. The opportunity for communities to direct resources in this way has not happened very much before. Our experience from working with communities and developers across Scotland is that hands on professional support, sensitively provided, can be very valuable. We welcome the opportunity for partnership working. We hope that by enhancing our team through this secondment from Caithness Renewables will further improve level of service to developers and communities on various aspects of community engagement/community benefit funds.”

Louise Smith, Director of Caithness Renewables added, “We are delighted to be supporting Foundation Scotland, improving the access to its operations for the Caithness and North Highland and Islands community. It is a logical continuation of our work on the Caithness Conversation which looked at improving access to funding coming into our communities from renewable energy projects.”

Ends

Notes to Editors

Foundation Scotland

Foundation Scotland is a Scottish charity with expertise in distributing funds to community projects on behalf of a range of different donors. Since 2008 it has also developed expertise in designing and distributing community benefit funds linked to onshore commercial wind farms. Foundation Scotland works with communities and developers, administering over £1.3M in community benefit payments annually mainly linked to commercially owned and operated onshore wind farms. It works with over 80 community councils and a wide range of developers, supporting the set-up and on-going activities of community funds across Scotland.

The Foundation favours a long term view, promotes and harnesses community strengths and supports decision making processes that are inclusive, accountable and community-led.

Caithness Conversation

The Caithness Conversation conducted by Foundation Scotland between February and April 2013 on behalf of RWE Innogy facilitated discussions between community members, businesses and other key local stakeholders about how funds can best be used to benefit Caithness communities.

Caithness Renewables Ltd

Caithness Renewables Ltd was established in 2010 by local engineer Louise Smith who in 2012 subsequently moved the business into a Thurso town centre office which also serves as a hot desk facility. Caithness Renewables carries out a variety of renewable energy, community and supply chain commissions aimed at enhancing the economic landscape of Scotland.

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