A new, free toolkit to help communities make the most of community benefits is now available on the Local Energy Scotland website.

Community benefits are voluntary arrangements offered by renewable energy businesses to communities located near onshore renewables developments such as wind farms and are often a valuable source of funding for the local community.

The toolkit guides community groups through the process, from initial contact with a developer through to creating a legacy, monitoring and reviewing the project. It features case studies and downloadable templates, and signposts to the various funding and support options available.

Chris Morris, Local Energy Scotland Manager, said: “We know that community benefits make a real and transformational difference to communities, and it’s great to see so many communities across Scotland benefiting.

“The community benefits toolkit has been designed to make it even easier for communities to secure, set up and manage funds and wider packages of community benefits from renewable energy schemes. Our local development officers are also able to offer specialist advice and support to help communities plan for and manage these benefits to maximise their impact and achieve a legacy that lasts.”

Andrew Mowat, a community representative on the Greencoat Stroupster Community Fund panel that administers funds from Greencoat UK Wind, said: “Community benefits come with few rules as to how they should be used and managed. Guidance for communities is therefore most welcome for those concerned about ensuring community benefits is well managed and going to where it can make the most difference.”

View the toolkit.