Thank you for the comments that have been raised regarding the payment of household energy grants. Please be assured that the LCT board is sympathetic to the comments and have been working to try to achieve a solution.
Following on from the information received from OSCR and our Solicitor we had to confirm that we were no longer able to pay out the household grant as it is perceived as a payment rather than a grant. LCT has been in contact with Eneco (owner of the Lochluichart Windfarm) to ascertain if they would be willing for the funds to be paid direct to the Development Company who could forward on the funds to individual households. Whilst Eneco were initially open to discussion they have now reported back that they are unwilling to amend the original community benefit agreement and therefore LCT is not able to continue to pay the grant. They have also confirmed that it is essential that LCT maintains its status as a charity as per the original community benefit agreement. EDF Renewables will now be contacted to ascertain if they are able to offer any way forward.
Under the criteria of the community benefit agreements LCT is not able to pay out grants to alleviate poverty or financial hardship but are able to pay out grants to support vulnerable people and to support projects that improve health. Under these criteria LCT is able to continue to pay the community support grant, which is administered by the Garve and District Development Company. This grant is not means tested and LCT would encourage the community to apply for this grant, where applicable.
LCT is also able to fund projects and initiatives that are of community benefit. There are a variety of exciting projects that LCT is currently supporting and we look forward to more projects being proposed.
The LCT Board appreciate that it is a frustrating decision and affects all members of the community but they are bound by OSCR's rules and the developer agreements. We would welcome any suggestions that members of the community have as to how they believe LCT should proceed.