Wind farm cash is to be handled by third party

Any financial benefit from windfarms earmarked for a local community council cannot be paid to the organisation as it is not a legal entity.

The cash for communities represented by the Royal Burgh of Wigtown and District Community Council could, as was demonstrated last year, suddenly disappear, it was explained this week.

During a discussion about benefit funds arrangements at the community council’s monthly meeting on Monday, councillor Jak Kane said that any money received would have to be by a third party, such as a “company limited by guarantee”.

These bodies can become charitable organisations and are therefore not liable for corporation tax and can also apply for lottery funding.

Another benefit of a third party arrangement was it allows the community council the freedom to remain independent and unbiased when considering windfarm planning applications.

Other communities have used other bodies to manage windfarm money for them, said Mr Kane, such as Kirkcowan through Machars Action and Old Luce with Foundation Scotland.

The local authority also manages such community money but holds 50% for communities across the region.