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February 11, 2009

Community ‘dividend’ from private developments

As two Perthshire communities have recently discovered, there are real gains to be had from building links with local developers. Development gain (or planning gain) can often result in communities enjoying substantial windfalls. The communities of Blackford and Auchterarder are about to benefit from six-figure cash injections

Gordon Bannerman, Perthshire Advertiser

Lucky Blackford and Auchterarder communities will enjoy a £250,000 windfall today.

Local businessman Allan King will hand over a six-figure cheque on behalf of Ochil Developments (UK), who are currently constructing the prestigious G-West International Resort on their doorstep.

The cash is being gifted for the benefit of residents – and there’s more to come. This is the first of two tranches.

Mr King said: “This is a long standing arrangement devised by the principals of Ochil Developments who were keen to do something to benefit the two communities.

“In the case of Blackford, Ochil particularly want the elderly to benefit, but they recognise that Auchterarder is a much bigger community with more complex needs.”

The cheques will be presented to Mr John Graham, treasurer of Blackford Community Council and Mr Peter Everett chairman of Auchterarder and District Community Trust.

Blackford has already established a panel to assess priorities and allocate grants and they have enlisted the help of the Scottish Community Foundation to manage and administer the fund.

Mr Graham said: “It is envisaged that the interest generated by invested capital will be used to finance projects and activities within the community but that, in time, some capital projects may also be considered.”

In Auchterarder, a Trust has been established and the trustees will perform a similar role to the panel in Blackford – in Auchterarder’s case using the Perth and Kinross Quality of Life Trust to handle administration.

Mr Everett noted: “A great opportunity has been presented to the two communities through the generosity of Ochil Developments and we look forward to making awards to local groups and individuals to the benefit of the area.”