Bespoke Community Development Company (Bespoke CIC), a member-owned community interest company, was formed in 2011 to enhance green travel, outdoor access provision and employability training in the Falkirk area. It has a radical approach to engaging the community with the countryside. Whether on foot, by bike or on horseback, Bespoke CIC is dedicated to engaging the community with the outdoors for health, recreation and learning.

Locogen is an award-winning renewable energy specialist company based in Edinburgh, which facilitates the development, construction and operation of renewable energy systems.

With support from the Scottish Government’s Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES), Bespoke CIC and Locogen have developed a community owned, Feed in Tariff (FiT) accredited 900kW EWT wind turbine project (Greencraig Community Wind Turbine). The installation was commissioned on 26 March 2021.

Bespoke CIC, with the support of CARES, have worked on this project since 2012. They were in the first ever tranche of applicants to the CARES scheme and have benefited from development grant and loan funding to realise a community project that will deliver carbon savings and impact.

This project is a much-needed early stage ‘green recovery’ project that will do the following.

  • Help a Scottish community group achieve their vision and support active travel. Bespoke’s work is focused on developing and maintaining off-road paths and trails which encourage green travel for individuals and families. Bespoke has maintained and upgraded over 60km of paths and trails.
  • Generate green electricity for over 30 years. The project will generate 55.4GWh of renewable electricity over its projected life.
  • Generate up to £1.2million in community benefit payments over the 30-year life of the project (lease term) including a £25,000 initial planned payment on commissioning.

Community benefit

Bespoke CIC will receive an initial community benefit payment of £25,000 once the project is commissioned, plus £4,500 each year for the life of the project. The CIC will therefore receive a minimum of £137,500 over the life of the project. Additional payments may be made based on any profits after all operating costs and debt service payments on the basis shown in the commercial structure.

Commercial structure

A new CIC has been established to own and operate the project. The CIC’s purpose will be aligned to that of Bespoke’s.

The model articles that will be used are the CIC model constitution: private schedule 3 company limited by shares with a small membership. These enable dividends to be paid to private shareholders, subject to a dividend cap of 35%. 65% of the profits from the company will be used for the purpose of the CIC. The ownership structure of the CIC will be 80% Locogen, and 20% Bespoke.

This structure worked for Bespoke by reducing the risk exposure to the group by sharing this risk with a commercial partner. The beneficial outcome of this is that in addition to the ‘Guaranteed Community benefit’ of £137,000, 72% of any additional profits will go to the community purpose.

Find out more about Bespoke Community Development Company.