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Community Land Scotland Newsletter March 2015
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Over £700,000 Raised as Urras Energy Society Exceeds Expectations 

 

Urras Energy founder directors (from left to right Agnes Rennie, Carola Bell and Norman Thomson) presenting an SEIS certificate to local investor Maggie Mackay of South Dell, Ness.

 

Urras Energy has burst through it’s target for community share investment with the total raised standing at an impressive £705,800. This heralds a very exciting time for the Society in the months ahead with construction now underway and two additional wind turbines expected to arrive in the middle of the year to add to the rapidly growing community wind energy infrastructure across the Isle of Lewis.

The support from within the Galson Estate and the wider island community has been an essential driver in the project's success. A total number of 168 investors made contributions to this project with the average investment throughout the Share Offer sitting at £4,056 in contrast to much smaller amounts experiences in previous community benefit share offers in Scotland.


Founding member Agnes Rennie commented “I’m speechless! This clearly shows the support that exists for renewable projects which are founded on the best of community development and environmental principles."

Construction work has commenced at the turbine site in Baile an Truiseil on the West Side of Lewis with civil engineering work started on the 23rd of February for the seaward turbine hard standing and access road which is already ahead of schedule. The civil engineering contractor will then switch to preparing the access road and hard standing for the second turbine close to the existing turbine. Electrical works are due to start for both turbines at the end of May, followed by the arrival of the two turbines from Germany in late June. The turbines will be constructed in July and, hopefully, operational before autumn.

What has Community Land Scotland been involved with since February?

 


Trudi Sharp and Zoe Kemp with Chair David Cameron
 

We have been very busy since last month and our last e-news attending The Gathering in Glasgow on the 25 & 26th February, the Rural Housing Scotland Conference in Birnam on the 26 & 27th February, the Scottish Labour Spring Party Conference in Edinburgh on the 7th of March and various government and community meetings across Scotland, never tiring of promoting the benefits that community ownership has brought across the country and giving practical information and advice to those who want to know more. Finding that there are lots of communities looking at the benefits of community ownership of land and assets, and acting as an independent voice for their queries.

We've also found time to host a visit from Trudi Sharp and Zoe Kemp of the Scottish Government. During the visit they heard at first hand from North Harrs Trust and West Harris Trust of the opportunities which community land ownership offers.

The weekend of the 28th and 29th March will see us attend another Spring Party Conference of the SNP, held in Glasgow and we'll be gearing up for our own Conference and AGM to be held in May. 
 
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Will 2015 be the year you offer your support to community landowners?


Towards the end of last year, for the first time ever, Community Land Scotland became open to donations from all. This is important to us and what we want to achieve for community landowners across Scotland. 

You will receive a Welcome Pack, newsletter updates and a small gift as a token of our appreciation.

Help us push the change that is needed forward by becoming a Community Land Scotland Supporter this year!
 
 

Purchase of Aigas Forest by the community completed

On the 5th of March 2015 the Lower Strathglass community became the proud owners of 260ha of woodland! Congratulations!

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Things you may have missed:

- Carnegie Trust UK launched their new ‪#FieldFinders‬ campaign
-  STFA calls for a fair deal for small landholding tenants Community Land Scotland, 27th February 2015
-
Residents to discuss Great Bernera community buyout BBC News Highlands & Islands, 27th February 2015
-
Global Witness: Submission to the Scottish Government’s Consultation on the future of Land Reform in Scotland
- Community Shares Scotland Roadshow held in Edinburgh on Friday 1st of May
- John Swinney announces task force to create open land ownership registry for Scotland Michael Gray, Common Space, 10th March 2015
-
Community-owned energy up 27% in Scotland STV News, 17 March 2015
 

Hydro scheme in Morvern invested in by the community starts generating power

     

Morvern Community Development Company and Morvern Community Trust invested a total of £30,000 in the project.
The groups will receive some of the money raised from electricity sold.

Angus Robertson, local community director on the project, said: "We believe strongly in community ownership and development of our own natural resources. We would have liked to be able to afford a larger share but are delighted to be a part of it."

Community Land Scotland Conference and Annural General Meeting


Our Annual Conference will be held in the Drumossie Hotel, Inverness over Thursday and Friday 21st & 22nd May 2015.
Programme and Booking forms available soon.

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Community Land Scotland is a charity registered in Scotland SC041864, Company Number 385572