Consultation exercise launched into community benefit fund

A consultation exercise is being launched to help outline how community benefit funds from the Viking Energy windfarm may be used.

The Shetland Community Benefit Fund aims to identify aims and priorities for the £2.2 million it says will be generated annually once the 103-turbine windfarm becomes operational in 2024.

Large quantities of concrete are needed for the turbine bases. Photo: Viking Energy.

Organisers behind the fund are today [Monday] launching a discussion paper, Shetland Today, which outlines issues and challenges faced in the isles.

It is the first stage of a nine-month consultation process.

The publication will be used as the basis for an extensive programme of community and stakeholder workshops, focus groups, telephone interviews and surveys.

The hope is that the fund will be used to make significant changes, supplementing any existing funding from other sources, and leaving lasting legacies.

The results of the consultation should then be used to prepare a business plan for SCBF’s use of
these funds.

The consultancy company IBP Strategy & Research will conduct the consultation independently from SCBF.

It follows news last week that the Viking Energy windfarm, which has been at the centre of controversy for years, was progressing steadily towards its completion.

Anti-windfarm group Sustainable Shetland remains opposed to the development.

IBP director Eddy Graham said: “We hope that this stage of consultation will be a creative process that generates ideas about how the Viking Community Fund can best contribute to addressing the challenges and opportunities that the islands face.

“This will be the first stage of an extended consultation programme over the next nine months
which we hope will reach every corner of Shetland and its communities.”


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