Shetland Community Benefit Fund is a unique initiative with all the local communities coming together to benefit from commercial renewable energy developments in the islands. The islands’ 18 community councils formed SCBF as an independent co-operative to negotiate and administer community benefit funding from developers. It was agreed from the very start that community benefits should be available on a Shetland-wide basis – so all local communities have a chance of accessing the funds.
SCBF has reached its first agreement – with Viking Energy Wind Farm and its main shareholder SSE Renewables – for the largest community benefit fund for any onshore development in the UK. SCBF will receive £400,000 a year from the Viking Community Fund during construction of the windfarm. This will be used to finance a grant scheme only open to projects supported by a community council and for SCBF administration. Advance Grant Scheme details of how to apply – and the projects that have been supported – are available here. SCBF will develop a full Business Plan for the main funding of £2,215,000 a year which starts when the Viking wind farm is operating.
SCBF is also talking to other developers about their community benefit plans.