Community Benefit Fund

Looking for an application form the Community Benefit Fund?  You can find it on our Community Benefit Fund Applications page.

Background

At the Annual General Meeting of the Islay Energy Community Benefit Society on Wednesday 27th April, it was announced that the sum of £60,000 would be transferred to Islay Energy Trust to provide a number of grant funding opportunities towards a range of community projects in the communities of Islay, Jura and Colonsay.
Find out more about applying for the fund by visiting our Community Benefit Fund Applications page.

IECBF update: 15th June 2018

The Islay Community Wind Project is at the forefront of a growing trend in social investment and has joined a group of Scottish island communities establishing a more sustainable, socio-economic future through the exploitation of renewable energy resources using local enterprise.

This project is unique as it is one of the first community-owned wind projects in Scotland to be part-financed through a community benefit society share offer.

Since 2016, the sum of £90,000 has been transferred to Islay Energy Trust (IET) to provide a number of grant funding opportunities towards a range of community projects in the communities of Islay, Jura and Colonsay.

To date, we have received 72 Expressions of Interest submitted from across Islay, Jura and Colonsay.  These have led to over 45 full applications for funding so far, across a wide range of different local project areas; from modernising home heating systems, to helping repair pathways around Islay to supporting schemes aimed at helping environmental projects.

The turbine continues to perform well, and to-date has produced over 4 million kilowatt hours, which is above expectations. It is anticipated that the turbine will continue to provide annually increasing levels of funding for investment and community projects for many years into the future.

Applications for funding continue to be accepted and may be submitted by anyone resident and registered on the electoral roll or from groups, organisations or businesses with a registered address on Islay, Jura or Colonsay.

Funding is available in three priority areas:

  • Developing renewable energy projects for community benefit – primarily targeting larger-scale projects looking for investment in projects and renewable energy.
  • Strengthening Communities – assisting groups/individuals to build capacity locally and to achieve social and environmental benefits.
  • Energy and Fuel Efficiency – supporting individuals/groups in modernising outdated fuel systems and aiming to provide energy savings; supporting individuals faced with paying a large portion of their income on heating costs.

Projects should provide clear benefits to the people and wider communities of Islay, Jura and Colonsay.

Funding application forms can be downloaded from the IET website (https://islayenergytrust.org.uk/), but paper copies are available at the IET office in Custom House, Bowmore.  For further information, contact Dr Billy Sinclair on 01496 301413 or via e-mail: billy.sinclair@islayenergytrust.org.uk

2016

The third Annual General Meeting of the Islay Energy Community Benefit Society (IECBS) was held at the High School on Wednesday 27th April. 17 society members and 4 from the general public attended. The Chair, Izzy Coughlin introduced the Annual Report and Audited Accounts and described how the project has progressed in its first period of full operation. The electricity generated by the turbine, and the financial performance have both been up to expectation and in line with the indications set out in the original prospectus for the project.

Accordingly, it was announced that an interest payment to the member shareholders of 4% would be made in respect of the year 2015. The main purpose of building the turbine is to provide a fund for use by the communities of Islay, Jura and Colonsay, and the Board of the Society decided that the sum of £60,000 would be transferred to the registered charity, Islay Energy Trust (IET). It is hoped that similar sums will be transferred in future years, dependent entirely on the performance of the turbine (and of course the wind!).

Dr Billy Sinclair, on behalf of IET described to the meeting the priority areas to which the fund will be applied, based on the earlier research work conducted during the planning of the project. Full details will become available on the IET website in due course (www.islayenergytrust.org.uk). For further information and to express an interest in the fund, contact Billy at the IET office in Custom House, Bowmore, Mondays to Wednesdays on 301413.

Two members of the IECBS Board, Margaret Rozga and Donald Ewen Darroch, retired by rotation and announced that they would not seek re-election. One nomination to act as a Director of the Society was received and Jenni Minto was duly appointed, which leaves one vacancy.

Izzy Coughlin closed the meeting by announcing that she would step down as Chair at the next Board meeting, when a new Chair will be appointed. Izzy will however remain on the Board. The members expressed their sincere thanks for the considerable work Izzy has undertaken to get the project up-and-running, and successfully at that!

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