Community Affairs

The Kingsburn Windfarm – UPDATE

Once all the paperwork has been sorted out Foundation Scotland (FS), acting on behalf of the Italian Developer (Falck Renewables), will send the Kippen Community Trust (KCT) an index-linked amount of £22,300 each year during the operational lifetime of the Windfarm (20-25 years).  The KCT has the responsibility of distributing the money within the Kippen community.  How will this be done?

Broadly speaking the KCT will be acting as a traditional grant-giving body, inviting organisations within Kippen to apply for funding from the Kippen Community Fund into which the Windfarm money will be deposited.  As with other grant-giving bodies there will be various conditions that have to be satisfied for an application to be accepted for consideration by the Panel that will make the awards.  First there are obvious conditions set by Foundation Scotland on behalf of the Developer:  For example no grants for political or religious purposes; no grants to replace the responsibilities of statutory bodies (e.g. local government) and no grants for anti-renewable energy activities.  In addition, there are two ‘rules’ that should be borne in mind by grant applicants:  First, it is not the intention that the Kippen Community Fund should replace existing fund-raising activities in the Village.  They already contribute to a vibrant community calendar and promote community spirit.  The intention is that a grant from the Fund will enable an activity or project to take place that otherwise would not have been possible.

Second, it will be expected that, for larger grants, applicants will seek matching funding from other sources – from fundraising or volunteer activity in the Village to grants from other charitable organisations.  This is the standard practice for grant-giving bodies and was introduced to provide evidence that the project has sufficient support in the community to justify funding.  One consequence of this requirement is that the Fund will substantially increase in size to allow more or larger grants to be awarded.

There have been suggestions that a proportion of the money from the annual Community Benefit should be put aside for ‘really big projects’.  One example is to invest this money so that when the Windfarm is no longer operational Kippen would have a source of income to replace the Windfarm money.  Other ‘investment’ schemes have been talked about but this is for future discussion within the Kippen Community.

One important responsibility of the Trust is to ensure that the distribution of the Community Fund is seen to be open, transparent and inclusive.  How is this to be arranged?   First, the Board of the KCT will set up an independent Panel with representation from across the Kippen community.  The Panel will decide who gets the awards while the Board will check that the guidelines and the objectives of the Fund are being satisfied.  The Board has to report back to the Charity Regulator, Companies House and Foundation Scotland each year.

Second, elections to the Trust Board take place each year at the AGM and are subject to a three-year cycle with one third of the Trustees retiring each year.  Similarly, for the Panel, where one third retire each year and nominations are invited for the available places.

Finally, one idea being worked on is an online Forum to stimulate discussion within the Community and between the Community, the Board and the Panel on how and when the money should be spent.  The intention is that this arrangement will make sure that the Trust is fully aware of, and in line with, thinking in the Community.   The Wee Vine will regularly report back on these discussions to inform those without internet access.

The first round of grant awards is expected to be held in early January 2018.  If your organisation is interested in applying for a grant please let us have your contact details so that we can send you the forms and guidelines when ready.  Call Margaret on 870536 or Jon on 870446.

This is a great opportunity to enhance and enrich community life for future as well as present generations living in Kippen.  Let Margaret or Jon know if you would like to become involved in the work of the Board or Panel to help bring this about.

Jon Greenman