Over the past decade there have been several wind farms set up in and around our local area. Community Benefit Payments are given by the wind farms to local communities. Abbey St Bathans, Bonkyl & Preston CC has access to funds from two such payments.
Crystal rig community fund
This Community Benefit Payment is derived from the turbines on Crystal Rig, owned by Fred Oulson Renewables and managed by Natural Power. The fund is split across four Community Councils of which we get a 15% share of Cyrstal Rig one and 20% share of Crystal Rig two. The annual pay out to our CC area is just over £10,500 & set to rise as the approved windfarms come on stream. Currently, the Abbey St Bathans, Bonkyl & Preston CC consider applications at our monthly committee meetings and then go on to submit any application we receive and approve, over £500, to Crystal Rig’s panel in order to apply the funds. (We are working towards being able to be given the funds more directly, in order to be able to make swifter decisions and payments.) The fund must be used principally for the benefit of the community council area residents. The application form can be populated online or printed off to complete and is available below.
Blackhill windfarm community fund
ASB, B & P Community Council has representatives on this panel as it has a wider remit.
This fund offers two types of funds:
- Small grants, for projects under £1,000
- Large grants, for projects seeking between £1,000 and £15,000
More information and application forms are available from the Blackhill Windfarm Community Fund website. http://www.blackhillcommunityfund.co.uk
2014 saw two very successful community consultation events held in each of the two village halls to give the community the opportunity to come together & let the Community Councilors know what they thought windfarm community benefit funds should be spent on. Food music & conversation flowed and now we are in the final stages of collating all of the ideas put forward from those events and the surveys which followed. That information will be disseminated in spring 2015.
June 2012 had us fruitfully involved in the big lunch where we launched our community resilience plans.
In both June 2009 and 2010 The Community Council has held two very successful Community Days for the residents of Abbey St Bathans, Bonkyl & Preston Community Council area.
The days aimed to bring the CC residents together with fun activities for all the family, food and Ceilidh dancing in the evening. The activities ranged from teach yourself Quoits, Archery, children’s workshops and face painting as well as the ubiquitous bouncy castle. In 2010 we had Chris show us some of his fascinating Birds of Prey, including his new female Golden Eagle. Chris is a regular visitor to several farms the borders with his birds as they are used to keep rabbits and other vermin under control.
The Ceilidh Band Real to Reel from Northumberland has served us very well both years. They play a great range of dancing tunes along with some wonderful borders tunes; all played on traditional borders instruments.
The location for this event has been the Bull Field in Preston kindly donated for the day, minus bull, by Preston Farm.
The 2009 Community Day was funded through Awards for All and a small amount of CC funds, the 2010 Day was funded through the Crystal Rig Community Benefit Fund. Both Events have cost around £6,000.00
Other funded activities include
- Exposing the Wild Exhibitions
- Scottish Air Ambulance Service
- Berwickshire Wheels Bus
- Bunkle & Preston History Group
- Preston Stitchers
- Local Arts Group
- Duns Tennis Club
- Ellemford Show
- Preston Village Hall
- Christmas Lights for Preston Village Hall