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Join the Caithness Conversation:

19th February 2013

‘How can funding from onshore wind farms be used to benefit Caithness?’.

RWE npower renewables (RWE NRL) is encouraging local people in Caithness to take part in the Caithness Conversation, a discussion about how the community funds linked to wind farms can best be used to support the area. RWE NRL, one of the UK’s leading renewable energy developers, invests more than £75,000 per annum in Caithness through community funds associated with its wind farms. The company operates Bilbster and Causeymire wind farms, has gained consent for other wind farms in the area, and is in the process of applying for planning consent for Bad á Cheò Wind Farm.

To support local communities to plan and deliver community investment funding, both from renewables and other sources, RWE NRL has launched the Caithness Conversation the aim of which is to share information and best practice on managing community funds.

RWE NRL wants the views of communities, businesses and other key local stakeholders on how funds can best be used to benefit Caithness communities. With other renewables developers investing locally and various other funding avenues also available, the outcome of the research is expected to be extremely useful in helping communities identify and plan how and where to direct such funding.

Foundation Scotland, formerly known as the Scottish Community Foundation, will conduct the ‘Caithness Conversation’ on behalf of RWE NRL between February and April 2013.

Rachel Searle-Mbullu of Foundation Scotland said: “We are really encouraged to see RWE NRL facilitating discussions with communities as to how these funds can best support and enable local groups and projects to thrive. There will never be agreement on one way that suits everyone – but I believe it is helpful to discuss and share different ideas and approaches”

Louise Smith of Caithness Renewables said: "The Caithness Conversation will provide an opportunity for all of us living in the area to discuss how substantial community funds can be spent. I really encourage people to join the Caithness Conversation and make known what they would like to see the funding spent on, no matter how small or ambitious their ideas."

As well as informing and improving RWE npower renewables’ own work with communities in Caithness, it is hoped that the Caithness Conversation will help communities better benefit from future funding, build more connections with each other and with support agencies in the area, and support continuing partnership working across Caithness.

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