One of the underlying principles behind the extended period of development of the hydro site at Strathlynn, was that the benefits derived from the scheme would be used to assist projects and organisations within Kingussie.
Other similar community schemes have invited investment from groups and individuals in order to meet the costs of design, landscape construction, turbine installation and electricity distribution, with the result that a significant proportion of subsequent income has gone toward debt repayment or has been returned by way of dividend to investors.
All the financing for the Kingussie scheme came from external funding applications, notably that of the People’s Postcode Lottery. A special mention must be made of the efforts of Donnie Grant, who, over the early period of the initiative, tracked down every possible avenue which had the potential to provide finance for the scheme. It took almost eight years (2006-2014) from the initial concept to the stage where income came to be generated, but apart from a small amount retained against any contingencies, all income is now allocated to the Hydro Fund, and kept separate from the day to day running expenses of KCDC.
To date, thirty-eight applications have been made to the fund, with thirty-two successful, and a range of Kingussie organisations have benefited, either with a major £2,500 award, or more commonly with a smaller amount for a particular element of expenditure. Decisions about such smaller awards (under £500) are taken at the monthly director meetings, but for larger awards an independent group is responsible for the final decision.
Over the past four years, £30,000 has been distributed. Some examples of awards made include:
- Kingussie Gymnastics Club. This was the first award made in 2017, and enabled the club to finance the training of four volunteers to level 1 of Scottish Gymnastic qualifications.
- Kingussie Camanachd Club. A major award as contribution to the upgrade developments of 2015, specifically for the dugout shelter.
- The Wade Centre. Purchase of Arts and Crafts equipment.
- Bikeathon. To support the relaunch of the event as successor to the long-established event.
- Caberfeidh Horizons. Support for the installation of central heating in the two High Street shops.
- Kingussie Clock Tower. Maintenance and repair work due to water leakage.
- Kingussie Tennis Club. Repair and upgrade of the Pavilion.
- KCDC Paths group. A major award as contribution to the construction of a new footbridge at the Golf Club, following the damage of 2014.
- 2019 Hogmanay Fireworks
- Kingussie Festivities and One Kingussie. In Covid year, the Senior Citizens party was replaced by home delivery of meals to over eighty OAPs.
For further information about the Hydro Fund please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.