A COMMUNITY energy trust in Scotland has been hailed as a model that could be copied elsewhere in the UK as part of the Prime Minister’s Big Society.
The Fintry Development Trust has been singled out as an example of a project promoting Big Society values by social and economic commentator Phillip Blond.
Blond, once known as Cameron’s “philosopher king”, has previously praised Scottish Parliament land reform legislation which allowed community buy‐ups of islands and former estates as a model of what might be achieved.
The Trust directors told TFN they were pleased and honoured to be recognised for their achievements, “realising that we are but one of many Scottish communities that have exemplified what has been discussed as ‘The Big Society’ for many years.”
A spokesperson added: “FDT is proud to be part of the larger community‐ led movement here in Scotland, welcoming the opportunity to assist communities and groups in their journeys, and looking forward to learning from others, throughout the UK.”
Fintry in Stirlingshire is a primary example of a community that has embraced renewable energy.
With its 300 households, it became the first village in the UK to enter a joint‐venture agreement with a wind farm developer. Instead of fighting the plans for the 14‐turbine development, they convinced the renewable developers to add an additional turbine for the village to the proposed wind farm.
Fintry now receives an average of approximately £30,000‐£50,000 a year in revenue from the wind turbine and is investing the money to the benefit of the community.
FDT manage the income stream from the turbine and has provided free insulation to more than half of the households in the village and is now embarking on new ambitious projects to eventually make Fintry a sustainable, zero waste and zero carbon community.
Commenting on the savings that have been brought about for households in Fintry, Blond said that this was an example of what civic action and voluntary association could do.
Watch the Fintry Development Trust film Wind of Change – Community renewable energy