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Wind Farm Cash Making a Lasting Difference to Local Community

19th January 2015

Local groups and charities are celebrating awards from the E.ON Camster Community Fund. The latest awards panel awarded over £65,000 in the first of two rounds in the fund's second year bringing the total invested in the area to over £200K since it opened in the summer of 2013, making a positive difference to the local community.

The E.ON Camster Community Fund was established to benefit the Community Council areas of Latheron, Lybster and Clyth; Tannach and District; and Watten, to support community groups and charities working in the fund area that are providing activities or services which benefit the lives of local people.

In the fund's first year the local decision-making panel made 24 awards from large scale investment awards to small scale grants, operated through micro grants. The fund reaches all aspects of community life making a lasting difference.

Watten Improvement Groups received £40K from the fund to improve the children's play park. The group went on to raise the additional money required and have subsequently transformed a run down play park into a vibrant, stimulating and safe place for local children. One local resident said "The new play park is fantastic. Children of all ages are playing together in the village."

Meanwhile in Bilbster, the local community were keen to get a plinth for the war memorial, however due to the lack of a local constituted group to take this project forward, access to money to do this was closed to the community. However, due to the micro grant system operated by the Community Council via the fund, residents were able to access a grant of £60 to purchase the plinth.

Carol Elliot local representative of the Fund said, "The E.ON Camster Community Fund is a great example of how these funds can benefit everyone in the community making lasting changes that make it a vibrant place to live and work. Since the fund launched in spring 2013 it and the local decision-making panel has gone from strength to strength reaching all aspects of community life from a new play park in Watten, to opening up the old railway at Thrumster into a walkway and more recently to help run a befriending service for the elderly in the community. We hope that the fund continues to flourish and more groups will be encouraged to apply in the future".

Jim MacDonald Chairman of the E.ON Camster Community Fund Panel said, "With Foundation Scotland's support the panel has had a very good first year. As volunteers representing our communities we take our responsibilities as custodians of the fund very seriously. The panel has been impressed with the quality of the projects coming forward and the differences they will make to our communities."

Foundation Scotland has been appointed by the wind farm operator to administer the fund on its behalf. The E.ON Camster Community Fund is expected to distribute at least £150K a year for the operating lifetime of the wind farm.

Caithness Voluntary Group
To fund the Befriending Caithness programme, in which a trained volunteer befriender visits isolated older adults in the community in their home or takes them out on trips.

Bower Young Farmers Club
To create a central storage facility for the club.

Latheron Lybster and Clyth Community Development Company
To purchase four iPads, which will be used in the classes the group deliver.

Lybster School Parent Council
To purchase a portable stage for the school.

Lybster Football Club
To install a new handrail around the length of Lybster football pitch.

South Lybster Residents Group
To install lighting in the local play park.

Caithness Citizens Advice Bureau
To provide an outreach service in the Fund area.

Stirkoke Rifle Club
To purchase modern firearms and equipment for Club use.

Watten Pre-School Playgroup
To replace the group's current storage units in order to improve the security and safety of pre-school equipment and confidential files.

Watten School Parent Council
To install a low level adventure trail at Watten Primary School.

Watten Improvements Group
To provide a band at the upcoming Hogmanay party in Watten Hall.

Watten Improvements Group
To purchase two custom picnic benches.

For a full list of the most recent awards and details about the fund visit