26th February 2018
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Bunyan replaces Hunter as chairman of Shetland Community Benefit Fund co-operative

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The Shetland Community Benefit Fund co-operative has appointed former journalist Chris Bunyan as its new chairman.

The appointment follows the resignation of lord lieutenant Bobby Hunter after his election as chairman of Shetland Charitable Trust.

Mr Bunyan, a member of the Shetland Windfarm Supporters Group, was nominated to the co-op’s board of directors by Sandness and Walls Community Council.

The co-operative was set up by all of Shetland’s community councils to negotiate and run community benefits funds provided by renewable energy developers in the islands.

The co-op is currently negotiating with Viking Energy for a community benefit fund that it expects to be worth over £2 million a year for the 25-year life of the windfarm project.

Mr Bunyan said: “I would like to pay tribute to the work Bobby has done for the co-operative. He was involved right from day one in the steering group set up by the Association of Shetland Community Councils and has helped establish a strong organisation. The co-op’s board of director wish him well for the future.

“If the Viking Energy windfarm goes ahead the community benefit fund will be of tremendous importance in helping to support and develop local communities. Because it is not a charity, the co-operative will be free of all the rules and regulations that tightly control how they can and cannot spend their money.

“I saw the potential of community benefits from renewable energy over six years ago and am honoured to have been elected chairman. We are very close to an agreement with Viking Energy on all but one or two crucial issues. There have been very productive talks to far and hopefully these can come to a conclusion within a few of months.”

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