Foundation Scotland supports the distribution of several funds from wind farm owner Vattenfall: the Clashindarroch Windfarm Community Fund, the ‘Unlock Our Future’ fund and the recently established South Kyle Wind Farm Community Benefit Fund.
The Clashindarroch Windfarm Community Fund supports charitable projects benefiting those living in the areas served by the community councils of Huntly, Strathbogie and Tap o’Noth and the area served by Cabrach Community Association.
Since launching its first award in 2015, the Clashindarroch Wind Farm Community Fund has supported over 130 projects across the local area with £1.2 million in funding to date. During that time, there has been a strong focus on preserving and enhancing the natural environment, promoting rural regeneration and celebrating the area's heritage. Decisions on grant awards are made by a panel of local people, drawn from the communities the fund benefits.
Clashindarroch Wind Farm Community Fund has also helped to generate a further £9 million into the local area since its launch, via match funding, which has supported local heritage and environmental projects such as the new hide at Inverharroch Farm, and local facilities such as Gordon Rural Action Hub, which houses joined-up services to those people most vulnerable in the community, including those hardest hit by the cost-of-living crisis.
Huntly Development Trust (HDT), has benefitted from several funding awards, helping them to develop foot and cycle paths, establish a low carbon active travel hub in Huntly town centre, and redevelop a major former department store at No 30, The Square. The latter will include co-working space, a café and cinema for the community, with the building heated by air source heat pumps.
Berry Jordan is Vattenfall’s Business and Community Investment Advisor. He said: “Clashindarroch Wind Farm Community Fund passing the £1 million mark in June was a great milestone, and the impact it is having locally is testament to the work of dedicated members of the local community who make the fund a success. The variety of projects that have been supported, ranges from small grants to transformative projects – all of which play an important part in supporting the local communities hosting the wind farm to thrive.”
The Vattenfall Unlock our Future Fund supports projects in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire contributing towards a climate smart future.
The Unlock Our Future fund has awarded nearly half a million pounds to over 50 climate-smart projects over the past four years. This has included funding for efficient heating systems and renewable energy generation for community buildings; the purchase of electric vehicles to deliver valued community services; and projects which drive innovation, education and behaviour change. Foundation Scotland supports decision making and distribution of funds from Unlock Our Future.
More recently, the South Kyle Wind Farm Community Benefit Fund made it’s first award from an initial payment of £2.4million from the windfarm owner. This follows the inauguration of the 240 MW wind farm earlier this summer and comes ahead of its full commissioning. The wind farm, situated in East Ayrshire, has been developed and constructed by Vattenfall and will be owned by Schroders Greencoat. The Community Benefit Fund is managed by local organisations and Foundation Scotland.
Over its lifetime, South Kyle Wind Farm will deliver an estimated £38million in local support through the South Kyle Community Benefit Fund.
Berry Jordan spoke of their relationship with Foundation Scotland: “Foundation Scotland’s engagement work for South Kyle Wind Farm has put the community in the driving seat and set a precedent for accelerating impact and building capacity when considering community benefit funds. Foundation Scotland have innovated and pioneered to work with South Kyle’s four contrasting local communities to make sure the community benefit fund generates lasting benefits for future generations. This approach is building local capacity, empowering groups and will ensure the fund and its wealth-building impacts are sustainable.”