In 2018 Cairnryan Community Council established the Cairnryan Community Fund to distribute funds from two local wind farms, Glen App in South Ayrshire and North Rhins.
Approximately £30,700 is available each year, and to help determine where the money is awarded, a volunteer panel of Cairnryan residents support the fund.
However, the panel has recognised that many grants are awarded on a reactive basis and felt a more strategic approach to grantmaking could have a longer-lasting impact on the local area.
In November 2021, the panel went to tender to find a consultancy to work with local residents to create a Community Action Plan.
By creating a plan, the local residents can be actively involved in shaping the future of their area, while the panel will have a greater understanding of the community's aspirations and priorities on how the funds should be spent.
Creetown Initiative Ltd, a social enterprise, practising development trust and consultancy service, has now been appointed.
Every household will receive a paper questionnaire in June that has been designed in consultation with the Cairnryan Community Panel.
Following the collation of completed questionnaires, Creetown Initiaive welcome a conversation at that time with any community members who want to talk about their experiences, opinions of living in Cairnryan, good and bad, and what improvements they would like to see in the village.
There will also be a drop-in event in the community hall for residents to chat and ask any questions they might have about the Community Action Plan process.
The lead consultants for the community planning are Chris Ward, Creetown Initiative’s manager and Amy Watson, senior project officer.
Chris said: “We are delighted to be working with the Cairnryan Community Panel. It’s such a lovely small coastal community, and I’m sure everyone who drives that road enjoys taking in the views across the Loch, wondering about the history of the pier and enjoying the beautiful planters along the shoreline.
"We look forward to helping the community create a Community Action Plan which they own and can be used to maximise the opportunity provided by community benefit funds and identify priority activities and projects for the coming five years.”
Panel member Kenny Cairnie is encouraging residents to get involved.
He said: “I am excited at the launch of the Community Action Plan as this will help capture the aspirations and priorities of the residents of Cairnryan community on how the fund should be spent going forward.
"I would encourage all residents to take the time to complete the questionnaires that will be popping through your letterboxes in the very near future as this will help to mould a strategic plan on how the fund should be spent in future years.”
The Cairnryan Community Fund is administered by Foundation Scotland which supports communities to distribute income generated from onshore wind farms.