View of windmills

Windfarm Trust (WFT)

Ever wondered how our local Windfarm Trust came into being and how it is run and operated. Karen Ross convenor of the KDT gives the background to this very important source of local funding.


Our local WFT came into being in 2007 as a result of ongoing consultations between the local Community Council, Stirling Council and the Developer at the time – Airtricity. The Chair of the Community Council at the time, Calum Brown, could see the benefits for the local community in the formation of the Trust and worked with the local Community Trust to bring this into being.  I will not enlarge on the politics of the development of the site as that was a matter for the Scottish Government and the planners. 

The community benefit from Windfarms at the time was calculated at £2k per turbine per year and we were to eventually have 36 turbines on the Braes of Doune = £72k. This was to be shared out over 4 communities, Doune would get the Lions share as it would be most impacted, the other 3 Callander, Dunblane and Braco would share the remainder equally. That ratio remains to this day and is index linked.

As the amount of money coming to Doune was substantial Airtricity wanted this to be managed by the local Community Trust which already was established with a proven track record, was a registered charity and would have accountability as a Company Ltd by guarantee. The other communities, which  have much lesser amounts, organised themselves differently at the outset.

The Kilmadock Development Trust together with the Kilmadock Community Council formed a steering group to set up the legal parameters for the trust, and agreed the legal agreement with the operator. The office bearers of both organisations were heavily involved in this work and produced guidance for an independent group called the Windfarm Trust. This group would run as a sub group of the KDT, but would receive and make decisions independently of the KDT and KCC. The KDT would just facilitate the administration, accounting, banking, receipts and payments that would need to be made.

Eventually it was agreed that the WFT would comprise of two representatives from the KDT and the KCC and three elected members from the Community, who would be elected each year. These community positions are advertised each year in the Community Newspaper the Bridge. The WFT would pay for a separate administrator to process the applications. If there are more than three applications then the KCC and the KDT independently and anonymously would vote on the applications to give the 3 representatives.

Over the last 13 years the WFT has supported applications from almost every organisation or group within the community, from the Bowling Club to the Hanging Basket project to the Allotment group and Xmas lights, the Rural Hall and the Information Centre, Mothers and Toddlers, the Cricket Club, the Community Woodland Group, Rook, Doune and Deanston primary schools, the Community Council, the Scouts, the Brownies, the Cubs, the Pipe band, the Gala, the Grosset Fair, Community Action for Deanston, Deanston Football club, the Doune Castle Football club, the Fishing club, the Doune and Deanston Youth Project. It has been a truly hugely important source of funding for the community. We don’t know how lucky we are.

The application form is split into applications for under £3k (the one page short form) and those over £3k (longer form). The WFT meet 4 times a year. September, December, March, June and the deadlines for applications are the end of the preceding month.  Decisions are made within one month of the WFT board meetings. The decisions are final and are only announced when the landowner and the operator agree with the WFT board decisions. All decisions have to be in line with the legal agreement.

If you wish to apply for funding for a group within the Community, you can request an application form via this link