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A NEW organisation has been formed with the remit of making sure that wind farm money pouring into the Creich and Ardgay areas is spent wisely.
The Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust is to have its official launch later this month.
Five local people, who represent community and business interests, have been appointed as directors to head up the new group and steer it forward.
Claire Bruce, vice-chair of Creich Community Council, is taking on the role of trust chairwoman.
Peter Campbell, chair of Creich Community Council, and Marion Turner of Ardgay and District Community Council have also agreed to become directors.
They are joined by Ruaridh Waugh, technical manager of Ardgay Game, and David Knight, the Business Gateway regional development manager for Sutherland.
New director Peter Campbell has previously said that he hoped the creation of the development trust would be the first step in a major transformation and revitalisation of communities in the Kyle of Sutherland.
The area is currently receiving upwards of 150,000 in community benefit from the Beinn Tharsuinn and Achany wind farms. That figure could reach 500,000 as other farms come on stream over the next few years. With match funding the amount could reach the 1m mark.
The trust focus will be on how best to utilise that funding and ensure that match funding is secured.
Full-time community development officer Lynsey Mailer, who was appointed in January on a two-year contract, is working under the auspices of the trust.
Funding totalling 60,000 to cover the cost of the community development service she is providing, has been granted from the Highland Leader programme; Achany Windfarm Community Benefit Fund and the Creich and Ardgay Beinn Tharsuinn Windfarm Fund.
Lynsey has spent her first few months in office meeting with members of the community and local groups in a bid to identify what can be done to improve the area.
She will use the information she has gathered to draw up a development plan.
Once finalised and approved by the trust, it will be made public.
Lynsey said: "The development plan will focus on strengthening and uniting the community through a range of projects."
She has already begun work on a Kyle of Sutherland events calendar to be launched in time for summer season.
The calendar will list all the forthcoming events in the area.
For more information contact Lynsey on 01863 766908; mobile on 07961 046715;
or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org