Exclusive interview: Richard Hammock, Chair of Huntly & District Development Trust
Richard’s career in senior management included spells in HR, marketing, property, security and general management. He was Deputy General Manager for BT’s most profitable operational unit. Richard set up and ran a successful consultancy and training company working with FTSE 100 companies and multinational companies. Since ‘retiring’ to Scotland he has chaired a number of voluntary organisations. He speaks to Blue & Green in his capacity as Chair of Huntly & District Development Trust (HDDT).
What is the community wind project?
The Trust plans to construct a wind turbine at a site which we own. This will provide low carbon electricity and an opportunity for investors to make 5 % interest over 20 years. Income will also be distributed to community projects in the local area using a legally separate organisation.
What was the driver for creating the community wind project – what gap did it fill?
There are a number of wind farms in the area where the profits go elsewhere and even abroad. HDDT has been planning to have our own turbine for a number of years now in order to benefit our local community. The purchase of the site in 2014 enabled us to progress with our plans for the turbine. We also have an interest in sustainability and low carbon electricity.
Who does it primarily serve?
This will be for the benefit of the local community as defined by the AB54 postcode area. This is mostly rural and has a total population of 11,507.
What difference does the community wind project want to make?
The expected income from the turbine will be £3,000,000 over its 20 year lifespan.
The income from the turbine will sustain the future of HDDT and will enable a great deal to be achieved locally for the benefit of the community. There are many existing social and economic challenges which need addressed and the income from the turbine will go a long way towards this.
Huntly & District Development Trust has charitable status and our aims are “working with others to build a resilient, inclusive, enterprising community capable of dealing with ongoing change. “
Who is helping you overcome barriers?
Community Energy Scotland is a source of great help.
Is the government action today helping or hindering the project?
Changes in Government policy towards renewable energy and sudden withdrawal of subsidies without adequate notice have been difficulties we have had to overcome.
How can people – individuals and organisations – find out more about the community wind project?
To find out more about the opportunity to invest, including the share offer launch event, please register your interest (without any obligation to buy) by:
Emailing greenmyresshares[at]huntly.net or phoning HDDT on 01466 799416.
More information here. By registering your interest you will be sent the full share offer information as soon as this is available.
HDDT is a registered Scottish Charity SCO4335
The date for the launch of the share offer is expected to be in January 2016 and will be decided soon and the deadline for applying for shares is expected to be in early 2016. More details will be sent when available to those who register an interest.
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