Lewis wind farm trust wins na­tional award

The Oban Times - - NEWS -

Com­mu­nity wind farm char­ity Point and Sand­wick Trust is cel­e­brat­ing after win­ning UK En­vi­ron­men­tal So­cial En­ter­prise of the Year at the UK So­cial En­ter­prise Awards last week.

Wind farm de­vel­oper Calum Mac­Don­ald picked up the award at the glit­ter­ing event in Guild­hall, Lon­don, and ad­mit­ted he was ‘very sur­prised’ but ‘de­lighted’ to have won. It is Point and Sand­wick Trust’s sec­ond award this month, their third this year and their fourth so far.

They were au­to­mat­i­cally short­listed for the UK En­vi­ron­men­tal So­cial En­ter­prise Award after win­ning in that cat­e­gory at the Scot­tish So­cial En­ter­prise Awards, held in the Scot­tish Par­lia­ment on Novem­ber 6. The award recog­nises the in­no­va­tion and suc­cess of Point and Sand­wick Trust in op­er­at­ing a com­mer­cial busi­ness for so­cial good. And the eco­nomic power of so­cial en­ter­prise was made clear at the awards cer­e­mony with the rev­e­la­tion that so­cial en­ter­prise com­pa­nies in Bri­tain pay more tax than Ama­zon, Google and Face­book com­bined.

The En­vi­ron­men­tal So­cial En­ter­prise award was the first cat­e­gory to be an­nounced and Calum ad­mit­ted he was ‘very sur­prised’ to hear Point and Sand­wick Trust’s name called out.

But he added: ‘I’m de­lighted, re­ally de­lighted. It’s a great tes­ta­ment that the achieve­ments of Point and Sand­wick Trust are be­ing recog­nised across the UK. It’s great en­cour­age­ment for all other com­mu­ni­ties that want to de­velop their own com­mu­nity wind farm schemes. Also, it’s a recog­ni­tion of the achieve­ments of all the com­mu­nity-owned com­pa­nies in the Western Isles.

‘We have the big­gest com­mu­nity-owned scheme in Bri­tain and it’s just so sad the coun­cil and oth­ers do not recog­nise the strength of these com­mu­nity schemes from Barra up to Ness.’

The com­mu­nity wind farm or­gan­i­sa­tion, which runs the Beinn Ghrideag wind farm near Stornoway with the sole aim of plough­ing all the prof­its back into the com­mu­nity, had also been short­listed in the cat­e­gory of So­cial En­ter­prise of the Year.

The month’s two awards from the so­cial en­ter­prise sec­tor fol­low pre­vi­ous ones from the re­new­ables and char­i­ties sec­tors.

Calum Mac­Don­ald picks up the award on be­half of the trust dur­ing the glit­ter­ing event in Lon­don’s Guild­hall last week.

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