Community plan to ensure wind farm money spent wisely

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Grantshouse is due to start getting community funds from nearby wind farms and the community council wants to make sure locals have a say in how that money is spent.

With around £60,000 a year of community funds expected from Penmanshiel and Quixwood wind farms Gransthouse Community Council decided to get expert advice on how to operate the fund.

The first step was to contact Community Enterprise.

Next step was a Big Lottery Awards for All application for almost £10,000 to have an independent survey carried out covering every house in the Grantshouse area to find out what the local community needs and wants are.

News was received this week that the application had been successful which means Community Enterprise can now start the survey work.

Awards for All said: “Grantshouse has seen significant private investment from renewable energy companies in recent years and as a result it is set to benefit from a new community benefit fund.

“Lottery money will be used for a six month project that will enable the community council to develop community action plans to ensure the community is able to maximise the benefits derived from this fund.”

Grantshouse Community Council has set up a separate community fund account, with both community councillors and residents involved, but it is early days and no decision has been made yet on how the community fund will be administered and allocated.

“We want to get it right first time,” said Kym Bannerman, community council chairman. “We are liaising with other communities and have been in contact with Community Enterprise who are experienced in dealing with this type of community fund.”