New company formed to handle community cash

A new charitable company has been formed to distribute community benefit money from windfarm operators.

North Carrick Community Benefit Company (NCCBC) has been set up to handle community benefit income of any kind including grants, donations, payments, legacies etc. from any source, as well as receiving funds from renewable developments within the area.

North Carrick covers the communities of Crosshill, Dunure, Kirkmichael, Kirkoswald, Maidens, Maybole, Minishant, Straiton and Turnberry.

The not-for-profit company has been formed by all the community councils in North Carrick councils and is in the process of registering as a charity.

It already has representatives from all of the local community councils and is now looking for wider membership from the community.

A meeting to discuss strategic planning and priorities for the area will be held on Wednesday, January 28 and anyone who is interested in being considered as a member should contact their individual community council for more details as soon as possible.

Interim company chair Mark Fletcher said: “This meeting will set the operational procedures and aims of the company, for example what do we consider are priorities in all our communities and how we go about funding them.

“This will not be an enormous workload and will probably only involve a couple of meetings a year unless people want to get more involved.

“If this is something that would interest you then please contact your local community council or contact the company directly by email at ncarrickcb@gmail.com and we will forward your details to the respective community councils who will contact you with more details.”

The company will distribute community benefit funds to communities for projects that fall within the objects of the company and also assist community groups in making applications for grants and funding for specific projects from various other sources.

Each community council can nominate 12 people who will become ‘Members’ of NCCBC. The 12 members from each community council will nominate three directors.

One of the potential projects the company could distribute money from is the planned Knoweside Hill Wind Farm.

At the end of last year, community councils in Maybole as well as Kirkoswald, Maidens and Turnberry voted yes to enter into a partnership with Banks Renewables and Cassillis and Culzean Estates to develop plans for seven turbines at Knoweside.

If the plans are accepted by authorities, the partnership agreement will see communities secure four per cent of all revenue generated by the windfarm, which is estimated to be around £9.6m over the windfarm’s 25 year life span.

The community revenues would then be ploughed into local groups, projects and job creation initiatives which have been identified in community action plans.

The communities also have the potential if the plans are successful to purchase an increased stake to gain even more funding.