Heartland Community Wind will be launching its main share offer in Aberfeldy on Tuesday April 28th 2015 in the Birks Cinema at 7pm.
The share offer will raise the remaining funds needed to construct the two medium-scale turbines, which have planning consent and are due to be operational by November 2015. Just over one million remains to be raised after a very successful ‘pioneer’ share offer which raised £450,000 to place turbine orders.
The main share offer will focus strongly on maximising local involvement and ownership of the Society, although people from outside the area will also be able to become members. Local people will have priority for share applications, and we are reducing the minimum investment to £100. Members will also get a vote on the community fund, generous tax reliefs under the EIS scheme, as well as interest payments on their share capital.
The launch event will include a short presentation explaining the project and how to join the Society, and a chance to meet some of the people who have been working on it to date. Light refreshments will be available.
The launch will include the announcement that Heartland Community Wind will also establish an annual bursary fund of £5,000 for students travelling to Perth College UHI from the PH15 postcode (Aberfeldy and Kenmore), where the renewable energy project will be sited.
Five students will receive £1,000 a year from the Community Benefit Society’s funds to help them with the costs of further or higher education. The link-up between the project and the college will be formally announced and an outline agreement signed when the main share offer for the project is launched at the Birks Cinema, Aberfeldy, on Tuesday.
Margaret Munckton, Principal of Perth College UHI, said: “This is an exciting project which is benefiting young people in a highly creative way – and I am very pleased that the college can be part of it.”
John Swinney, Scotland’s Deputy First Minister, whose Perthshire North constituency covers the PH15 postcode, said: “This is an impressive and innovative way to ensure local communities derive genuine benefits from wind turbine developments. Decisions will be made locally, not in some far-away corporation’s HQ.
“I am supportive of the sensitive development of clean and carbon-cutting energy in Scotland – and this project is especially positive because young people from the area will benefit in furthering their studies.”
Jon Hallé, Director of Sharenergy, said: “These turbines will be owned 100 per cent by members, who will pay into a local community benefit fund at twice the rate of commercial wind farms – and we are delighted local students will benefit. Members will be helping young people to study and to transform their lives.”
A small panel, including a Heartland director, will examine annual applications for the bursaries and judge which students will gain most from a fund award. Successful students will be asked to report annually on their progress at college and have regular contact to help ensure a positive outcome for their studies.