Come along to Whitehorse Inn on Saturday from 10 to 2 – a fun day for all the family with Craft Fayre, BBQ, Bouncy Castle, Twit 2 Woo, Face Painting etc. Better Balmedie will have a fund-raising stall with hand made cards, plants pots, cushions and pet blankets. see you there!
Hello everyone, hope you are all enjoying the sunny weather today…
Just wanted to remind you that on Thursday 24th April Better Balmedie will be meeting at the Library at 7.30 for film show with Mary Cane of “Belhelvie in the 1930s”. Mary’s has subtitled her evening “Belhelvie… Rag Bag and Tell Tale”, so I’m sure we are in for a fun but informative evening…I’m certainly looking forward to seeing the parish as it used to be….see you there!
On Friday 25th April we are litter-picking with school children, meeting at the school at 10.50, and we can help the children until 12.30, so hope that some of you will be able to lend a hand …
On Saturday 26th April we will be meeting at Polytunnel at 10 am for litter-pick. Tom has produced flyers which Margaret is taking down to school, to go home with all children, so perhaps this time we will get some help from families in the village.
Best wishes to all
Just a note to remind you that our favourite gardener Tim (Head Gardener at Leith Hall) is coming back to see us on Wednesday 30th April to talk about growing vegetables, outside and in the polytunnel. I know you all enjoy Tim’s workshops so hope to see you there at 10 approx. The workshop is free to members..
This example of a film and explanation below, shows what a development trust can do. Is this something that inspires you. If it does contact us.
Fintry Development Trust
Fintry is a small rural community between the Campsie and Fintry Hills. Its Community Council was keen to explore ways for the village to become greener … the Fintry Development Trust has become the vehicle to meet this challenge.
A developer, Falck Renewables, approached the Community Council about a 14-turbine windfarm they were proposing nearby. The Community Council saw the potential, both, for developing ‘our own turbine’ and for moving towards becoming a carbon-neutral village.
Four residents were asked to take the negotiations forward. They formed Fintry Renewable Energy Enterprise (FREE) and carried out extensive community consultation through leafleting, a series of meetings and a survey at the annual ‘Fintry Fling’. Local people were very supportive and with this mandate the Community Council felt able to reject a community benefit payment in favour of pursuing ownership of a turbine and the significant income it would create.
Prolonged negotiations with the developer followed. Developers often sell on windfarms and having a ‘sitting tenant’ owning one turbine would have been commercially unacceptable. The solution was for the community to receive the equivalent of one fifteenth of the total income, while FREE agreed to take out a loan to cover the cost of this extra turbine. Through patience and commitment, along with cross-party political support, the community effectively owns one of the 15 turbines within the now working windfarm.
Gordon Cowtan from the Trust continues “Fintry Development Trust the umbrella organisation was set-up in 2007 and has charitable status: FREE is wholly owned by the Trust and is its commercial arm. The Trust receives upwards of £50,000 per year while the loan is repaid, and potentially over £400,000 once repaid.
We’ve used the first part of this income to complete a major project insulating local homes. Step one was an energy survey of the houses in the village including an infra-red snapshot of the front of each house so that people could see where heat was escaping. This was on a winter evening when heat loss would be strongest, and we’d told people and the police that photographers would be going round. Of course, someone forgot and rang the police, who’d also forgotten … fortunately the confusion was quickly sorted”.
Now almost half of all local homes (46%) have taken up the offer of free cavity wall and roof insulation. A free, doorstep insulation service really works. People were happy for the fitters to turn up and get on with the job: if they’d had to apply for a grant there’d have been a much lower uptake. We’re now looking at different types of insulation for the houses that weren’t able to benefit from this approach. We’ve also funded energy-saving measures in the sports club and a new heating system in the village hall, and we’ve established a village database through the survey work – so we now know what individual households want and need.
Minute of the Belhelvie Community Trust 24th March 2014
I have produced this document and consulted with those of the Management Team present and we believe this adequately reflects the substance of discussions held on that evening.
Since this BCT meeting we have had our meeting with BCC, the Leisure Centre Trust and Aberdeenshire Council representatives and look forward to a second meeting to discuss roles, aspirations and possible collaborative projects in the future.
Audrey Jeffries. Chairman
This is the Community website for BCT (Belhelvie Community Trust).
We were formed in February 2014. We are a Development trust and have applied to be a member of the Development trust Association Scotland to further our aims, learn from other trusts, develop best practice and contribute to its community of members.
The development trust is an idea from various people n the community who have come together to explore how, through getting local groups to work together can co-ordinate and create new groups, social enterprises.
The BCT c/o Rosie Nicol.