Community Feedback



  1. Should UM be the Chair of the LCT whilst also chair of the Hall trustees ( receiving funding), chair of the war memorial group and also a Director of the GDDC, also in receipt of regular funding? Is this ethically and morally right and should the charities commission be made aware of this?

LCT has an established process, as defined in the Articles of Association, for the election of directors and UM was duly elected by the LCT members to be a Director.  Following the recent resignation of the previous Chair UM was elected as the new Chair by the other LCT directors.

In a small community it is inevitable that directors may volunteer in more than organisation.  All directors must declare a personal interest and conflict of interest in any project or discussion that they are involved in and are not allowed to participate in the discussion or outcome.  This is in line with the recommendation from OSCR and also reiterated by Alpin Stewart of Munro and Noble in the LCT Board meeting of 7th November 2019.


  1. According to the LCT website, the local school has had over £50,000 of funding with another £11,000 + agreed over the next 2 years. With the number of pupils currently at 9, 2 children due to move to the academy after the summer, August intake? and sadly due to the Garve hotel closure another 2 children will be leaving – can this level of funding be justified for so few? Is the Highland Council getting away with not adequately funding the school as no need, as LCT will give them whatever they ask for?

LCT has a clearly defined application review and scoring process.  All of the applications for the school have followed this process and the grant has been awarded in line with this.  LCT is governed by the community agreements which do not allow it to provide funding for anything that should be paid for by Highland Council.  All of the grant funding that has been provided has been for resources and trips that the school/parents has to fund itself and not from Highland Council.

The annual grant, approved in principle last year for the next 3 years, will be reviewed this August, taking into consideration the expenditure for the current academic year and the forecast for the next year.  The value of funding is not allocated on a per pupil ratio. 


  1. The LCT has spent a great deal of our funds on feasibility studies, questionnaires etc.. What has been the tangible benefit of this to our community? Is it not the consultancy firms who are the true winners here, taking money from us that could have been put to better use?

The applications that have been approved by LCT for the feasibility studies have been approved in line with the LCT grant process and the community development plan – a plan which was agreed by the community and community stakeholders during 2019.


  1. The energy group have spent a fortune on studying energy generation in our community, all of which have been concluded non- viable. Why do we now have to pay an energy officer, at yet more expense, to further pursue a lost cause? Home energy reports etc. are also available free of charge so there is no need to pay someone to arrange them.

This question was passed to the Garve and District Community Energy Group for comment:

The members of the Community Energy Group are all volunteers. As a group, we spend a considerable amount of time and effort resourcing information and materials to achieve the goals required for sustainable energy and a safe environmental future to benefit our community. We’ve sent out surveys to the community to help us gauge if, how and where they want us to focus our efforts. The Energy Group has taken on the annual Energy Grant scheme, general house insulation improvement scheme, efficient lighting scheme and also the community power generation scheme. We have engaged several local and government agencies in pursuit of improving the welfare, energy efficiency and environmental aspects of the community. As individuals, we feel we have taken these schemes as far as we are able due to time constraints in our everyday lives and technical know-how. In order for the project to continue effectively, we needed to have the support of a funded Energy Officer.

In response to the comment from one individual regarding the Community Energy Officer we would refer the complainant to a clarification of the energy officer’s role posted on in April this year in response a question from a G&DDC member. This explained that

  1. The Energy Officer role has not been created or funded using LCT (community) funds, but by the Scottish Government’s Investing in Community Fund. The fund enables communities to develop the resources and resilience to decide their own aspirations, priorities and solutions.
  2. The ‘Match funding’ secured from community (LCT) funds earlier this year, have and will not be called upon until the Energy Officers Work identifies specific ‘projects’ which have the potential to show a financial return to the community and or are of ‘direct benefit’ to individual households and the wider community as a whole.

These ‘projects’ specify and include home and community renewable energy systems, transport and other objectives that the community energy group have been working to develop and progress within our community since it formed in May 2015. It has been this work (and the ‘feasibility study reports) which has greatly contributed to our ability to attract the ICF and future ‘external’ funding opportunities.

Whilst Home Energy Reports are indeed available and ‘free’ to arrange, both we (the Energy Group), the Highland Council and Scottish Government, have found that the process of turning completed reports into viable projects and installations, is a daunting task for many householders, not least in committing monies to bridge any gap between the grants or government loans that they may be eligible to apply for.

The Home Energy Reports are not readily available to the group due to data protection laws. The energy officer’s exclusive role is to review the reports, identify the most needy in terms of energy improvement (both in terms of environment and financial) in our community and make the households aware of government grants, loans etc, to undertake these improvements.

The ‘externally funded’ Energy Officers role is therefore able to

  1. Support our communities householders through this process (including applying for government grants/loans)
  2. Explore and develop proposals as to how LCT funding might be used to bridge any funding gaps that might otherwise deter the householder from securing a ‘warmer’, more energy efficient and cost effective home.
  3. Investigate and assess options for Community owned Renewable Energy
  4. Investigate and assess options for sustainable Community Transport

It is not clear where the conclusive notion of non-viable power generation has emanated, but we can assure the community that there are viable options being investigated. These studies require specialist input and hence there is cost.


  1. If UM cannot get involved with a lot of funding applications due to his conflicts of interest, is his not a wasted post? Would it not be better to appoint someone more independent, unbiased and not connected to local groups etc.?

UM was elected as a director by the LCT Members and where there is conflict of interest does not participate in the discussion or vote on any pertaining issue. 

However, taking on board this comment UM has decided to resign from his role as a Director of the Garve and District Development Company, Chair and Trustee of Garve Public Hall and as the Chair and Trustee of the Garve War Memorial Trust to concentrate on his role as a Director and Chair of LCT.


  1. A LOT of money is going to the GDDC – what have we actually got to show for such high expenditure in our community?

 This question has been passed to TGDDC for comment as below:

TGDDC  are in the middle of producing the Community Development Plan Annual Review and it is hoped this will be issued within the next couple of weeks fully detailing work which has taken place over the past 12 months.  A brief summary is detailed below;



As of April 2020, TG&DDC has attracted £338,784 into the community: –

TG&DDC:                    LCT £231.934            External Funders £16,377

For Other Groups:       LCT £84,973              External Funders £5,500

Of this 26% on average 13% each year, over 2 years has been used for TG&DDC overheads and staff.

We also have a further £35,849 from external funders secured until April 2022.


Overview of Achievements (lots more will be detailed in the Community Development Plan’s Annual Review)

  • The Garve & District Development Company
  • Full-time Community Engagement and Development Officer post (3 days used 18/19, 4 days used 19/to date).
  • Company Secretary (1 day per week)
  • org – on-line community hub (Phase 1 and Phase 2)
  • Community and stakeholder engagement resulting in Garve & District’s Community Development Plan
  • Kids Activities Project
  • DigiHub Project
  • Support to Garve Public Hall, Achnasheen Amenities Group, Strathgarve Parent Council, Garve & District Community Energy Group, Garve & District Community Events Group in attracting funding for the following projects:- Garve Public Hall Remedial Works

Garve Public Hall Energy Efficiency Report

Garve Public Hall Redevelopment – Professional Fees

2 x Christmas Parties for Garve & District Residents

Strathgarve Parent Council – Together We Succeed

  • Development of specification, procurement and implementation of the Community Assets Feasibility Study.
  • Activate Garve & District Project
  • Green for Go Community Energy Project
  • Covid19 Supporting our Community Grant
  • Covid19 Community Food Hub
  • Covid19 Volunteer Register

Note:  The COVID19 Community Support Grant is available to all residents of the Garve and District community and 151 household grants were applied for, representing a total of £75,500 in direct support distributed to those living in the area within 6 weeks of the COVID19 lockdown announcement.  The Covid19 Community Food Hub put in place a hot meals delivery service and arrangements for order and delivery of grocery boxes.

In conclusion, as detailed in the Community Development Plan Annual Review, over the past 12 months work as taken place in every Strategic Theme identified by community – Community Ownership; Community Energy; Utilities; Community Care; Community Groups and Events; and Business and Tourism.  This resulted in the completion of 50 workstreams/projects with a further 37 have started and currently on-going.


  1. The Garve Hotel has now closed and is for sale. The land at the back of the hall has therefore more chance of becoming available. Does this call for a Hall project rethink? A new hall was ruled out as there was no-where to build one but maybe there now is, or maybe a far larger, elaborate extension? Would be a ridiculous waste if the community
    managed to acquire this land and simply used it for parking!

Due to the sale of the Garve Hotel and the ownership of the adjoining land, the hall refurbishment has currently been put on hold whilst the various options are being considered.


  1. There have been various community events that have involved catering and on each occasion one local resident gets the business – is this not the LCT personally funding someone’s business / profits?

As part of its grant review process LCT asks applicants to provide quotes from more than one company, where appropriate.  It is for the application organization to decide and detail any external costs.  The options for catering for community events is limited in Garve but alternative catering organisations have also been successful in providing catering for local events.  The recent Yoga Open Day was catered by the Garve Hotel.

Ongoing Out of the Blue catering will no longer be quoting for community events.

LCT does not pay any funds to any businesses directly and will only pay the grant direct to the applicant.


  1. The website was set up with great intentions, but just like the Fraser Ross blog of the past it has simply become a vehicle for back stabbing, insults and abuse! If our community could be less divided, bitter, more neighbourly and appreciative of others efforts our community would be a far better place to live, with or without wind farm

LCT is keen to ensure that the communication with its members and the wider community is as open and transparent as possible.

The website is one of a variety of communication methods that is used by LCT, including its own LCT website, LCT Facebook page and direct communication with members via email and post.

LCT is committed to working with its members, community groups and the wider community to make Garve and district a great place to live, work and socialise in.  We welcome any ideas our members have to bring our very dispersed community together, working in unison for the benefit of all.





Present:               6 LCT members


LCT Board:           Sharon Wright                   Jean Bailey                          Jeanette Fenwick

Karen Grant                       David Raeburn                  Margaret Ross

Jennifer Haslam                Carol Smith (LCT Company Secretary)


Apologies:           Tina Hartley                        Lucy Beattie


Members and non-members were invited to the meeting to share their ideas with the LCT directors.



SW welcomed everyone and delivered a report of the projects that had been approved in the last year as detailed below:



The following grants have been awarded in the last year:


` Project Project Summary Project Cost Grant requested Grant Approved
The Garve & District Development Company Meet & Eat: Digihub To support older members of the community to be IT literate & reduce social isolation and loneliness £11,383 £11,383 £11,383
The Garve & District Development Company Children’s Holiday Activities Taster Days To provide a range of children’s holiday activities in local area £1,995 £1,995 £1,995
Garve & District Development Energy Group Community Energy Grant To provide community energy grants of £250 to each household in the GDCC area £43,250 £29,803 £29,803
Strathgarve Primary School Parent Council Transport To provide transport for the children to school events £2,000 £2,000 £2,000
The Garve & District Development Company Community Xmas party Community Christmas party £500 £500 £500
Garve & District Community Council Community ceilidh To provide catering & band for ceilidh £982 £982 £982
Garve & district Broadband Phase 3 Broadband FTTTP to properties in Strathgarve & between Gorstan & Garve £85,800 £85,800 Approved in principle
The Garve & District Development Company Operational costs 3 year block grant (yr 1 £49.3k / yr 2 £50.3k / yr 3 £51.3k) £151,000  Year 1 £49,300 £151,000  Year 1 £49,300 £49,300 Yr 1.Yr 2/3 approved in principle
Garve and District Development Company Garve Hall Feasibility Study To employ a consultancy to carry out a feasibility study and options for a new/improved community hall/hub £18,942 £18,942 £18,942
Garve Public Hall committee Emergency Remedial work  To carry out emergency remedial work at Garve Hall to enable it to reopen £28,097 £28,097 £28,097


` Project Project Summary Project Cost Grant requested Grant Approved
Strathpeffer Pavilion Community Trust Strathpeffer pavilion Community purchase of Strathpeffer Pavilion and adjoining land £480,684 £6,580 £0
Strathpeffer & District Community Rowing Club Phase 2 project To build a second St Ayles Skiff £5,000 £1,000 £0
Puffin Hydrotherapy pool Refurbishment of pool Refurbishment of pool £86,632 £9,071 £0





  • Since June 2018 LCT has approved grants totalling £228,802 to projects
  • Following comments from the GDCC community the Board agreed (March) to prioritise grants within the area. Grants outwith will only be reviewed in exceptional circumstances
  • Since its inception LCT has approved grants totalling £223,685 for TGDDC as below:
Set up Development Company £250
Recruitment of Development Company Staff £30,685
Community Hub phase 1 £5,000
Meet and Eat : Digihub £11,383
Children’s Activities Taster days £1,995
Hall Feasibility study £18,942
Operating Costs (years 1) £49,300
Online Hub (phase 2) £5,630
Christmas party £500
Operating costs year 2 and 3 £100,000



  • Since the start of the Broadband project LCT has approved £423,800 as detailed below:
Wireless Quote £10,200
Satellite Subsidy £22,500
Phase 1 FTTP £243,400
Self dig costs £36,200
Phase 2 £30,200
Phase 3 £85,800




Since June 2018 LCT has received grant funding from Eneco of £196,201 and funding from Green Renewables of £5,152 totalling £201,353.



LCT currently has £64,291 available for new grant fund applications




LCT has attended the community development meetings alongside the Development Company and the Community Council




LCT is expecting to receive the final draft agreement imminently.  EDF-RE have arranged for the funding to be released as soon as the signed draft agreement is received.







The initial delay on the draft agreement was because EDF RE was using external lawyers.  This has been changed and the agreement is being managed by the EDF RE internal team.  Further delays have been caused by the Court of Jurisdiction being that of the Court of England and Wales and minor changes to the agreement being ring fenced funding and joint projects with other funders.  The final cause of the delay is that the agreement is not owned by anyone with EDF RE and is being managed to completion by Grant Folley, who is managing it alongside his own role. 

EDF RE have committed to sending the final draft agreement by Monday 17th June.  Once the agreement has been reviewed and signed, the funds will be passed immediately to LCT.  This will equate to £310,000 for grant funding plus the administration fee

Although this will enable LCT to fund further projects SW reminded the meeting that £85,000 of the grant has already been committed in principle to the Broadband Project Phase 3.



LCT have explicitly asked this of EDF RE who are unwilling to pay an up front payment



LCT is receiving low levels of interest on its band accounts.  If there is a large balance LCT would not preclude investing funds.  However the preference is for the monies to be spent.

ET explained that TGDDC is accessing funds outwith LCT for certain projects and is attending a meeting arranged by DTAS to meet local representatives of other potential funding bodies.  TGDDC is currently looking at a project with 95% funding.




Due to email problems the proposal from Tina Hartley has not been forwarded to the LCT Directors.  However there has been a level of discussion as to how the process should operate.  It is strongly felt that the process should be owned and the grants paid out by LCT using a simplified grant process supported by a set of agreed criteria.  Should the applicant need support or advice for the process they could either by supported by CS (LCT) or Tina Hartley (TGDDC).

SW reiterated the need for the 3 separate community bodies, being LCT, TGDDC and Garve and District Community Council to remain as 3 separate entities with LCT as the funding body. 

It was agreed that LCT would have a meeting to discuss the micro grant scheme and that Tina would be invited to the meeting.





Present:               8 LCT members


LCT Board:           Sharon Wright        Jean Bailey           Jeanette Fenwick

Karen Grant            David Raeburn                  Chris Hamilton

Carol Smith (LCT Company Secretary)

Non Members: Tina Hartley (TGDDC)     Lucy Beattie (TGDDC)

Apologies:           LCT Board:                           John Bedwell


Members and non-members were invited to the meeting to share their ideas with the LCT directors. Invitations had been sent to all members by either email or post and posters had been placed up at Garve Hall, and Achnasheen in order that non- members were also aware of the meeting.  Information was also placed on the LCT website.

SW welcomed everyone and delivered a report of the projects that had been approved since the last meeting as detailed below:



The following grants have been awarded since the last community meeting:

March 2018

Grant  Applicant Project Project Summary Project Cost Grant requested Grant Approved
Garve & district CC Community ceilidh To hold a ceilidh open to all within the community £775 £775 £775
Ullapool High School Japan Trip Educational trip to Japan undertaken by 41 participants £77,589 £3,000 £500
Strathpeffer Primary School Parent Council Playground equipment To provide a playground slide and scramble net in the school playground £11,995 £3,000 £3,000
Highland Museum of Childhood Trust Station Building redecoration Repainting of station building £3,650 £2,375 £500
Strathpeffer Under 5s Learning Resources Purchase of new learning resources to improve active learning £950 £950 £950
Mossford PWS Group Legal costs of borehole To support the legal costs of creating a borehole following contamination by SSE of existing water supply £5,130 £5,130 £5,130



Strathpeffer Medical Practice Defibrillators Defibrillators for Dingwall Branch surgery £1,550 £1,000 £500
The Garve & District Development Company Community Hub website The development of a Garve & District website to be used by all groups and members of the community £5,000 £5,000 £5,000
Strathpeffer & District Community Rowing Club Skiff project To build and then enable members to row a St Ayles Skiff £6,050 £1,393 £500




Grant  Applicant Project Project Summary Project Cost Grant requested Grant awarded
Dundonnell Mountain Rescue Team Pocket Defibrillators Purchase of 3 pocket defibrillators and service and software upgrade on existing 2 pocket defibrillators £6,090 £6,090 £0




 Grants paid

In the current financial year, LCT expects to authorise grants totalling about £265,000.  In the year to 31 March 2018 grants totalled £318,974, compared with £24,487 in the previous year.


LCT income for grants

Eneco is expected to pay £189,000 in September 2018.  There is still no news or confirmation about the contribution expected from EDF for the Corriemoillie windfarm.  Due to the delay there will be 2 years of funding once it is received.  JB updated the meeting with information from the GDCC meeting.  It is understood that there is a further group within EDF-ER that wish to also look over the legal agreement and this is causing the delay.  This was further confirmed by Ed Tarr.




LCT has met and offered support to the following groups as part of the application process:


  • The Garve & District Development Company
  • Garve & District Broadband




  •  How do you look at who gets a grant award?

SW explained that the Board uses the scoring matrix that has been previously shared with members.  The projects may either be within the Garve & District CC area or of benefit to the area though not actually within it.  For example the Strathpeffer Under 5s playgroup has been awarded funds as there are no playgroup facilities within the area and as the nearest it is attended by children from the area.  Strathpeffer school was awarded funds as there are children from the area who attend the school (note – SW did not participate in the discussion or the vote on this award due to a conflict of interest).  A small grant was provided to the Strathpeffer Museum of Childhood as it is utilised by members of the area.  The Wyvis Distillery in Dingwall was not awarded funds as there was no benefit to the area or its residents. 


  • Is there a set % of the community that has to benefit to receive an award?

SW explained that there is no set % of the community that has to benefit to receive an award.  However if the award is outwith the community information is requested from the applicant as to how many people from the GDCC area will benefit. 

 As part of the scoring criteria the results of the Community Benefit Survey are considered and the greater the priority on the survey the higher the score that the project is awarded.

 It was agreed that LCT has taken great strides forward in communicating with the community. The Garve & District Development Company offered that once its online community hub is available LCT will utilise this.


  • Is there consideration of the available funds when the Board reviews an application?

The Board considers the application on its individual merits and does not review the available funds.  With the establishment of the Garve & District Development Company it is hoped that there will be more large scale applications.  Should this be the case and there was not sufficient funds available LCT has the ability to borrow funds.  CS explained that there should be further funds becoming available from EDF-ER at some point.


  • Why did LCT pay awards to applicants outwith the area and of no direct benefit?

A small grant of £500 has been awarded to Ullapool High School as a gesture of goodwill.  This was awarded following discussion by the Board and a partial grant was awarded.  There was a view that if it is of benefit to the Highlands then it will have a benefit to Garve.

 During the Foundation Scotland audit conducted last year the recommendation was that LCT should set aside 20% of its funds for projects outwith and of no direct benefit to the community but this was rejected by the Board.

 There was a general feeling from members that grants should not be paid as goodwill gestures to organisations or initiatives that are outside the area and/or are of no benefit to the area.

 Tina Hartley (Community Engagement and Development Officer – Garve and District Development Company) recommended not paying goodwill payments

 POST MEETING NOTE – The grants awarded by the current Board are as below:

GDCC area and of direct benefit – 97% Outwith but of some benefit – 2% Outwith and of no benefit – 0.11%


  • Would the Board consider taking 10 projects suggested by members that are outside of and of no direct benefit to the community and only take forward 2 projects voted on by members

The Board will review this suggestion at its next Board meeting


  • Should LCT seek comments from members prior to grant awards

CS explained that a summary of grant awards is sent out via email and post to members and is also put on the LCT website and facebook page.  Comments are requested but generally there is little response.

It was suggested by Ed Tarr of the Garve & District Development Company that the online community hub could be used to provide access for members to provide their comments.  It would also be possible to put a voting button but it was suggested that the voting button would not be advisable.  LCT would welcome comments via the community hub.


  • If challenged on smaller projects could you share the scores with the community

Following the audit last year by Foundation Scotland the recommendation from them was to not share the scores as it becomes a black and white answer and does not lead to discussion.


  •  Can you put contingency into a grant funding application

Yes and this would be expected with large scale projects.  The Garve & District Broadband group application had contingency within it and was fully funded


  • At what stage is the Development Company?

Ed Tarr (as the Chair of the Garve & District Development Company) explained that the members of the Development Company should be getting an update. One member explained that she does not have email and requires the information to be sent out by post, as LCT does.  Tina Hartley explained that they were compiling this information and would be posting out where appropriate.

 Tina also explained that an application has been sent to LCT for a digi-hub which will provide broadband to Garve hall and also resources and training for those that require it to enable all within the community to be Internet and email capable.

 Lucy Beattie asked whether there was a need for activities for young people within the community as she is looking to establish 3 activities.  KG suggested that the activities suggested would probably be more attended by Primary children but a Youth Club for older children would be good.

 Ed Tarr explained that the Development Company is looking at arranging social events and trips outwith the area as they wish to tackle loneliness within the community.  CS explained that in Strathnairn such events are organised including a Friendship group and a Seniors lunch club which utilises the community minibus.


  • Has LCT received the income from Ledgowan Hydro?

CS will check when this money will be received





Present:               8 LCT members

LCT Board:           Jean Bailey                          John Bedwell                     Jeanette Fenwick                               Karen Grant                       David Raeburn                                           Carol Smith (LCT Company Secretary)


Apologies:           LCT Board:                           Sharon Wright                   Chris Hamilton

Members:                           Jennifer Haslam                                Max Haslam


Members and non-members were invited to the meeting to share their ideas with the LCT directors. Invitations had been sent to all members by either email or post and posters had been placed up at Garve Hall, and Achnasheen in order that non- members were also aware of the meeting.  Information was also placed on the LCT website.

John Bedwell (LCT) chaired the meeting and provided the following update:


The following grants have been awarded since the last community meeting:

Grant  Applicant Project Project Cost Grant Requested Grant awarded
The Garve and District Development Company Recruitment of a development officer £30,685 £30,685 £30,685
Achanalt Householders Association Erection of owl boxes £160 £160 £160
Mossford Borehole Creation of a borehole £60,000 £33,000 Pending
Garve & district Broadband Fibre to premises Broadband £243,400 & annual cost of £27,000 per year £243,400 & annual cost of £27,000 per year £243,400



There were no rejected grants



 Grants Approved – Still to pay

  Payment value approved but unpaid Available for Grants


Wyvis Play park (Amount due on completion)


70,175 188,537
G & D Broadband FTTP balance of cash flow to Aug ‘18


33,940 154,597
Income from Eneco Sept 2018


167,494 322,092
G & D Broadband FTTP cash flow Sep ’18 to Jan ‘19


113,460 208,632



LCT has met and offered support to the following groups as part of the application process:

  • Garve & District Energy Group
  • The Garve & District Development Company
  • Garve & District Broadband



  • LCT has received confirmation from EDF-ER that, following their legal advice, they will channel the EDF ER Corriemoillie funds, equating to £150,000 per year through LCT subject to the following conditions:
  1. An agreement will be put in place between LCT and EDF-ER outlining the terms of the parties’ relationship.  This should be received by the end of January
  2. EDF-ER obtain written agreement from LCT and the other parties to the Lochluichart Windfarm agreement that it does not cover the EDF-ER funds.
  3. EDF-ER obtain the right to have a director on the LCT Board, as per Eneco.  This would mean a change to the LCT Articles of Association


  • Eneco are scaling back their UK operation and as a result the Warwick office has closed. The relationship between LCT and Eneco is now managed by Euan Fraser who is based at the Eneco Inverness office




  • How involved are Eneco with LCT

Eneco have maintained a hands off relationship with LCT.  EDF-ER may wish to become more involved


  • If EDF-ER make any changes about who can be paid will this impact individuals?

Currently LCT does not know what (if any) changes EDF-ER will wish to make but is anticipated, from the discussions that have already taken place, that there will be the same, if not more, freedom.  For example, EDF-ER already pays grants to individuals through the Education and Training Grants.  The EDF-ER Education and Training grant is separate to LCT and there have already been 2 funding rounds


  • The Garve & District Development Company (TGDDC) is trying to set up an interactive website to allow members of the community to come together in discussions and to aid access to other community websites.

At its Board meeting, previous to the community meeting, the LCT Board approved the funding of £5000 for the community website


  • TGDDC cannot put forward projects themselves but will be able to support local groups and members of the community with applications. The Development Officer will be a helpful source of information for the group and it is hoped they will be on site in Garve for 2 days  a week to meet with local residents

LCT must be seen to remain as a separate entity but will work with the Development Officer.


  • JGB asked “What can LCT do to aid the community?”

Members response:  LCT can aid the community by continuing to communicate with the community through face to face meetings, which ensure a common understanding and ensure that relevant issues are discussed. This has provided a very positive approach with the Broadband Group. 

It was also suggested that early discussion (pre application) can be beneficial to all parties.  It was agreed that this has been done by LCT and should continue.   

LCT response:  LCT has always been open to pre application discussion at the request of the applicant, as evidenced in the Wyvis playpark application.  LCT’s desire is to spend the funds within the community for the benefit of the community and LCT hopes that TGDDC will help in bringing the community together


  • JGB asked TGDDC “Is there a plan to update the community needs survey?”

TGDDC response:  This has not yet been discussed but there will need to be a starting point.  There will be a need to create the Development Company in to an easy and meaningful structure and to capture priorities, possibly through a development plan


  • At the first LCT community meeting there were issues that LCT has resolved and put in the past. The LCT board has improved its contact with the community.  With TGDDC bringing community groups together this should make it easier for LCT, as with the support of a Development Officer applications should come to LCT in an improved manner and this should aid LCT and the wider community

The Development Officer should certainly help the process.  LCT is the funding body and the community should be telling LCT what it wants to spend the money on.


  • TGDDC are coming across barriers with obtaining external funding as there is money within the community


  • The Development plan will be a great unifier and will be visible to the community, prioritised by the community and will provide a long term vision of funding for LCT

The priority within the current community plan is part of the LCT scoring matrix.  The revised development plan will sit as part of the LCT prioritisation

  • The application process is user friendly and gives scope to put across all necessary points and information.

If there are any recommended changes to the process LCT would be pleased to review them


  • TGDDC is reviewing the conflict of interest for directors

LCT has previously sought legal advice on this and it has been confirmed that if a director has a personal or financial interest in a project, or is a partner of someone who does, they cannot participate in the discussion or vote on any proposal related to it.



What are LCTS plans for the coming year?

LCT will be looking to engage with the development company and work with the community on new projects being applied for. It is hoped that with the establishment of the development company there will be more applications from the community.

 LCT will also be working with EDF to ensure the agreed changes are implemented and the Corriemoillie funds passed to LCT


What is happening about the GDCE Rebate Scheme?

John Fenwick of GDCE explained that GDCE had required clarification from LCT regarding the recent award as GDCE saw it as one application with different streams of work.  LCT regarded it as separate applications.  GDCE has now met with the LCT Board and can now progress with the rebate scheme. GDCE would like to meet with the Development Company to ascertain the best way to ensure uptake by all members of the community.  During the discussion it was noted that flyers are a good method of communication and John Fenwick stated that a number of communication mediums would be used.  It is hoped that the grant will start to be paid out by the end of the year.


Is it just one director who meets with the community groups to discuss applications?

When LCT has met with the Broadband group and GDCE it has been the whole Board who have attended the meetings.  At the meeting with GDCE John Bedwell attended as a member of GDCE and did not participate in the discussion that followed during the Board meeting


There is a need to review the conflict of interest regulations

The conflict of interest is clearly stated in the Articles of Association.  Alpin Stewart, LCT Solicitor, explained that it is OSCR and Charity law that states the requirement of conflict of interest and whilst it is difficult, as within a small community there will always be a conflict, it has to be adhered to.  It was clarified that an interested party may take part in an information meeting or discussion but they cannot participate in a grant making and award discussion.  A suggestion was made that there should be a meeting with all applicants before an award making meeting but Alpin Stewart advised that in most cases a meeting would not be required.  Alpin further explained that the idea behind OSCR’s regulations is to ensure that all decisions are seen to be made in a way that is clear and there can be no accusation at a later date.  It was agreed that where there were complex applications there should be more pre meetings and not a simple reliance on the application form.


Under the new banding structure projects over £100,000 may require additional expert help.  Should the Board set guidelines for this?

It was generally agreed that the Board should seek additional expert help required.  The review of applications is time consuming for directors and this may alleviate this.  However, directors have the local knowledge which can aid the review of applications.  


Improved Community Engagement

LCT has spent considerable time trying to engage with the community and whilst the first 2 community meetings were well attended there were only 7 members at the last meeting.  A suggestion was then made that whilst LCT had made improvements in its communication some members would like to see more, though there were no ideas as to how this could be achieved.  It was suggested that to encourage the community to become members of LCT there needs to be more grants that are awarded and have a visible benefit to the community now, such as the Energy rebate.

 Members’ input is important to LCT and the directors would like to encourage more members to participate in our general meetings.  Queries may also be raised with the Company Secretary at any time

Ed Tarr explained, in his role as the Chair of the Development Company, the first priority of the Development Company is to improve communication with the whole community and to set up communication channels.



Present:               7 LCT members

LCT Board:           Sharon Wright (Chair)    Jean Bailey                          John Bedwell        Karen Grant                       David Raeburn                  Jeanette Fenwick           Carol Smith (LCT Company Secretary)

Members and non-members were invited to the meeting to share their comments and suggestions on LCT.  SW welcomed all of the attendees and provided the update of activities since the last meeting as follows:


Update since last meeting on 6 February 2017

 Approved Grants

The following grants have been awarded since the last community meeting:


  1. Garve & district Energy Group

Rebate Scheme      £44,650   This is open to all households in the GDCC area and is £250  per household towards energy costs

 Household Energy     £7,400  This is open to all households towards the cost of energy efficiency measures within the home

 New local Energy       £8,436  To review the options.  However if these schemes are not Assessment  viable LCT will not fund further studies  

 Woodfuel business     £4,070           A decision has been postponed on this.  If you are interested                                                                       please contact the GDCE              

These initiatives have been supported as they were high within the community needs survey


  1. GDCC Ceilidh    £745           A community ceilidh in August


  1. Garve & District Broadband group

Satellite     £22,500 Installation or reimubursement of satellite      broadband to 42 houses. This is a one year solution

 Wireless  £10,200 For 3 surveys to be conducted for wireless broadband

 These initiatives have been supported as they were the highest priority on the community needs survey.  Although some of Garve has been upgraded to fibre broadband this is not across all of the community and the satellite and wireless broadband solutions offer an option for better broadband


  1. GDCC Set up costs for Development Company £250      

This was for the administration costs of establishing the development company.  LCT will remain separate from the development company



The following grants were rejected:

  1.  Glenwyvis Distillery  £9,235   To establish a visitor centre in Dingwall.  Rejected as it is outwith and of no benefit to the GDCC area


  1. Strathconon Primary School £3,000   For trips and extra curricular activities.  Rejected as no children from the GDCC area  attend the school



Foundation Scotland has completed a review of Lochluichart Community Trust on behalf of EDF.  At a meeting on 17th May all parties had the opportunity to review and comment on the recommendations, following which a summary report has now been created.  EDF’s preferred route for funding is to channel it though LCT but there needs to be some changes to enable this as detailed below:


  1. Legal and Governance
  • LCT was established following the signing of the Community Benefit Agreement by LLP, Eneco and Highland council.
  • This agreement has some clauses which need to be altered including the ability to pay to individuals and the 4% administration cost cap.
  • EDF has been in contact with all parties and are currently seeking further legal advice on this. All parties are demonstrating willingness to change the agreement as necessary. 
  • The Articles of Association may also need to be altered


  1. Adminstration

Many of the recommendations by FS have been implemented including the following:

  • Review of the scoring matrix and banding
  • Project feedback monitoring form
  • Awards to be prioritised according to feedback from the community needs survey. The scoring process has been amended to reflect this
  • Support to be provided to applicants during the application process
  • Acceptance / rejection letters to be sent by Company Secretary
  • Distinguish between different levels of awards. This is achieved by the percentage required being larger for larger projects
  • Promotion of LCT through community website, social media etc

The following are to be actioned:

  • Director review programme including an induction programme, a Board code of conduct and a skills matrix of all directors
  • Multi year grants
  • To discuss with GDCC the potential for formal representation of LCT at CC meetings
  • Development and strategy day for the Board, to be run every 3 years


The following recommendations were rejected:

  • 20% of funds to be earmarked for projects outwith the area
  • FS to review the grant funding applications and make recommendations to the Board. It was felt that the community is better served with local directors reviewing and awarding the grants
  • Provide latest award reports to GDCC following each award making round. It was felt that LCT and GDCC should remain as 2 distinct organisations and the information is available on the community website if required
  • The template grant funding application provided by FS was rejected as it was felt that this was a large cumbersome document and moved away from the requirements that had previously been raised by members for simplicity.
  • Discontinue the process of a scoring matrix for the review of grant funding applications
  • Seek a minimum for impact figure from applicants. This was rejected as it was felt that this would put off applicants or applicants would assume that they would only get this figure
  • Director’s assessment of an application will not be considered if they can’t attend.
  • Paying grants electronically. This is not necessary due to the limited amounts of payment

The meeting was then opened to attendees


  1. Would LCT be spending less money on surveys with the establishment of the development company

A concern was raised that there has been money spent on feasibility surveys which have not produced a positive result.  Whilst it was agreed by LCT and other members present that there has been funds spent these have been necessary as many community groups would not be able to fund it themselves and expert advice is required.  It is also envisaged that once the development company is established it will be able to obtain other options of funding.  However, LCT is aware of the concern and has made it a condition of a recent grant that if the feasibility study does not produce a positive result no further funding for feasibility studies will be made available.


  1. A level of caution needs to be adopted with ongoing changes (ie to application) and members should be consulted

A concern was raised that if processes are continually changed this could alter the decision regarding the funding of an application.  A suggestion was made that these decisions should be put to members but it was generally agreed that the LCT directors are elected by the members to make decisions.

JGB also commented that whilst it would be good to gain greater community involvement there is a general level of apathy in the community demonstrated in the numbers that have put themselves forward as members of the development company.  LCT now has a facebook page, website and community meetings but cannot force members of the community to engage.  It is hoped that with the establishment of the development company a full time development officer will be recruited and they will be able to engage with the community and turn ideas into action


  1. There should be more community involvement with decision making in relation to EDF funds

SW explained that EDF have held a number of community consultation meetings and commissioned FS to review LCT processes and as part of this have interviewed past and present directors and applicants.  SW explained that following the draft publication of a 47 page report a meeting was held on 17th May between EDF, Foundation Scotland and LCT to discuss the initial findings of the FS review of LCT.  There were a number of recommendations (as detailed above) that LCT rejected, in line with previous comments and suggestions from LCT members (ie – FS recommended 20% of the funds should be ringfenced for projects outwith the LCT area.  This was rejected by LCT as members had stated at previous community meetings that the funds should remain within the area.)  Following the meeting a summary document has been produced by FS and this will now be published to all members of the GDCC area.  The summary document has been made available to members at the earliest possible opportunity following the detailed and comprehensive review involving EDF, FS and the LCT directors.  Members are welcome to comment on the document or to seek clarification via the LCT Company Secretary.


  1. Larger scale project applicants would benefit from meeting with directors to discuss the application and not have the application reviewed just on the application form

LCT has already engaged with some groups (ie Broadband group) but will enable scope for conversations outside the application form with large value applications.  It was also suggested that an exec summary of key points should be provided for large scale projects and this will be checked as part of the pre application check conducted by the Company Secretary.

Following the public meeting, the board has received a request for a meeting with GDCE to clarify elements of their original application and discuss the delivery and impact of the project as a whole going forward.  The date is being arranged


  1. Have the £5,000 funds from Green Highland Renewables for the Luyb Hydro been claimed

This has not been claimed but will be chased up


  1. LCT and the development company

It was suggested that, as there have been so few applications to be a member of the development company, there may be some confusion as to whether residents are able to be members of the development company and LCT.  CS offered to send out the development company information and application form to LCT members.  It was also suggested that GDCC may need to create a flyer to explain the role of the development company.

There was also a discussion as to the interaction between LCT, the development company and the wider community.  It was recommended that there should be representatives from all of the community groups as part of the development company.

The meeting was followed by a brief informal update from the Broadband Working Group.




Present:               14 LCT members

LCT Board:           Sharon Wright                   Jean Bailey                          John Bedwell

Karen Grant                       David Raeburn                  Jeanette Fenwick

Carol Smith (LCT Company Secretary)

Apologies:           Jennifer Haslam


Members and non-members were invited to the meeting to share their comments and suggestions on LCT.  Invitations had been sent to all members by either email or post and posters had been placed up at Garve Hall, Post Office and Achnasheen in order that non- members were also aware of the meeting.  Information was also placed on the LCT website and facebook page.

Sharon Wright introduced all of the directors, welcomed everybody and thanked them for coming.

The attendees were informed of the key updates since the last community meeting being:


  1. Draft minutes of the Board meeting are posted on the website “Minutes” page, and emailed or posted to all members. Final minutes are available on the website


  1. The facebook page is being used to update members with information and grant requests. This is also being used by members to communicate with LCT.  To become a facebook member you just need to send a request and provided you are a member of LCT it will be accepted


  1. A summary of the grant funding applications are posted on the website “Outstanding and Previous Applications” page and also on the facebook page previous to the grant funding application. Please note that LCT will not comment on grant awards previous to the Board reviewing them and making a grant award


  1. The revised scoring matrix, which was presented to members at the AGM in July 2016 has been used by the Board for 2 rounds of applications, being September and December 2016. This is currently under further review by the directors.  Please note that the final grant award decision remains with the directors, as stated in the Grant Funding Application Guidance notes


  1. The frequency of application has been changed to quarterly with application deadlines being 31 March, 30 June, 30 September and 31 December. Notification of the submission deadlines is on the website


  1. The LCT Company Secretary has provided support to applicants to ensure all the correct information is obtained to support the application. The most recent example of this is the support given to Strathgarve Parent Council.


  1. As part of the process for the allocation of the fund from EDF for the Corriemoillie Windfarm, LCT has met with Foundation Scotland who is conducting a review on behalf of EDF. It is anticipated that the report will be available and presented to the community in March 2017


  1. Project feedback is requested from successful applicants 6 months after their award and this is posted on the website


  1. Clarification has been sought from Alpin Stewart of George Street Law as to the definition of an initiative. Under section 1.2 and 1.3 of the Highland Council agreement it stated that the objective of LCT is to provide financial support for groups or initiatives that are of benefit to the Garve Area.


  1. Applications will not be reviewed until all necessary supporting paperwork is received by the Company Secretary. The application must be received by the Company Secretary at the closing dates.  This will be reviewed to ensure completeness before being sent to directors review within 7 days of the closing date for applications.  Directors will then review the application and respond with any questions or clarification within 7 days.  The Company Secretary will contact the applicants with the outstanding requirements.  The award decision will not be made by the Directors until all information and clarification has been satisfactorily received.   The board will review the application at the board meeting following this.

There was agreement from the attendees present that the Board had covered the points that had been previously raised and implemented actions.

The meeting was then opened to attendees


  1. Initiatives

Having been provided with clarification from Alpin Stewart regarding the definition of an initiative CS also explained that whilst an individual could raise an initiative on behalf of the community the recommendation is that there was a formal group for the initiative.  It was also reiterated that the Company Secretary is able to help potential applicants with the application process.


  1. Has the LCT Board has been in discussion with GDCC regarding the establishment of a development company?

SW explained that LCT had provided funds for the community needs survey but the Board felt it was more appropriate to stand back from the process and that LCT needs to be seen as a separate entity with separate membership.

Whilst acknowledging the independence of LCT, there was a further discussion amongst the attendees regarding the setting up of the development company.


  1. What percentage is required on the scoring matrix to obtain funding for a project?

The percentage required depends on the value of the project.  However, the % required is currently under review


  1. How did Dingwall academy get funding for the Rock Challenge?

Funding was provided as it fulfilled the criteria required by LCT.  At the time of the application LCT confirmed with Dingwall academy that there are children from the GDCC area who are involved with the project.


  1. Has the criteria changed and applicants do not now need to be constituted?

All previous applicants have been constituted but as clarification had now been sought from Alpin Stewart this does not need to be the case, though it is still advisable


  1. Is it advisable for the EDF funds to go to LCT?

This is being reviewed independently by Foundation Scotland on behalf of EDF.  The Articles of Association may need to be altered to reflect 2 funding streams and this is not an unusual practice


  1. Will a development company have to meet the same criteria as any other applicant?

The development company will have to meet the same criteria but will be able to spearhead projects on behalf of the community.  For example the development company could operate an energy saving initiative and receive the funds for this from LCT and redistribute it to the community.  The development company will face the same restrictions on projects as other applicants.


  1. Education and training grants

Sue Tarr explained that she is part of the steering group that has been established by EDF with representatives from each of the CC areas.


  1. Why do Eneco wish to remove an appointed director?

Eneco are considering this as they feel that LCT is operating in the manner expected of it as per the Community agreement.

The meeting was followed by a presentation by the Broadband Working Group.



The directors discussed the comments from the community meeting at the LCT Board meeting on Monday 3rd October.  The directors were pleased with the openness of discussion and the willingness to share ideas

The key points raised are noted below with responses from the Board:


  1. Has the Board discussed changes in the Articles?

CS Note:  There are 2 governing documents.  The Articles determine how LCT operates legally a company.  The Community Benefit Agreement governs the operations and grant funding of LCT

The LCT Board can, and has, made changes to the Articles.  The latest changes were amendments to the number of member directors and an amendment to the director terms and retirement process.  This was as voted on and agreed by the members at the AGM in July 2016


  1. Applications process – It was felt that grants were paid outwith the HC Agreement

The LCT Board has this year amended the application scoring process and adopted a more detailed matrix to allow for improved review of grant funding applications, as presented to members at the AGM.  The current directors are unable to comment on previous application awards but would welcome any comments and suggestions for the current process


  1. Applications to be made available prior to the Board decision to allow for member comments.

The LCT Board understands the comments made by members regarding applications being made available.  Following discussion it was agreed that a summary of grant applications and sums requested would be made available on the website prior to grant award.


The Board did not feel it appropriate for the full application to be made available to members as the new scoring matrix enables objective decision making.  The directors are voted to the role by the members and as such are empowered to make decisions regarding grant funding applications.


  1. Frequency of applications and awards – the public meeting could be used for grant applicants to present their application. It is currently proposed to have 3 community meetings per year being in January / May and September

LCT will be amending its grant awards to quarterly being 31 March, 30 June, 30 September and 31 December. 


The Board did not feel it appropriate to request applicants to present at the public meetings as it was felt that this might be onerous for some applicants and prevent applications being sent to LCT


  1. LCT could publish a summary of the grants pre award

LCT will publish a summary of the grant applications and funding requested previous to the Board reviewing the applications.


  1. Members to be emailed/posted minutes of meetings to prevent misinformation

Final minutes will be emailed/posted to all members following their sign off


  1. Will the community be consulted on whether they want EDF to give the funds to LCT?

Foundation Scotland held workshops on behalf of EDF to achieve community feedback and this was distributed to all participants.  The feedback will also be posted to the LCT website.


LCT are meeting with EDF and Foundation Scotland to discuss further the potential funding from the Corriemoille wind farm


  1. Will LCT help applicants to be aware of other external funding

LCT is able to offer help to applicants for LCT grant funding through the Company Secretary. 


Unfortunately LCT does not have the knowledge or experience to aid applicants of other external funding bodies.  However this support may be provided by SCVO (Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations).


  1. LCT should consider favourably setting up a development company

LCT appreciates members’ comments and has previously sought legal advice as to the process for setting up a development company.  However, the directors are waiting for the results of the GDCC community survey and are currently unable to comment regarding the establishment of a development company. 


  1. Would it be possible to employ a development officer and how would this be funded. It could be a shared resource with other community funds

As with point 9 above LCT is waiting for the results of the GDCC community survey and is currently unable to comment


  1. Is there any feedback to see if a project has been completed and how the funds were spent? Could this be put on the website

LCT received feedback from all successful grant applicants and a summary of this will be posted on the website.


  1. Would it be possible to put a suggestion box within the local community

It was felt that a suggestion box would be difficult to administer but comments can be made to the Company Secretary by post, email or facebook