A total of £1,028,084 has been paid out to Island groups and causes over two years from 2016-18, the AGM of community wind farm charity Point and Sandwick Trust heard last night (Tuesday, November 20)

The meeting at Ionad Stoodie in Point welcomed a large audience of members and guest speakers Adam Frew from the Wood Group spoke on the progress of the Hydrogen Ferry project, while Shane Wilmott from Enercon referred to renewables opportunities.

Donald John MacSween, Point and Sandwick Trust General Manager, said the trust’s key principle was to promote the social, educational, cultural and environmental wellbeing of the people of the Western Isles with a particular focus on Point and Sandwick. The figure of £1,028,084 was calculated from AGM to AGM and, as was explained earlier in the meeting during the presentation of the accounts had risen sharply from the levels reached in the early months.

As part of this, their support goes to a wide range of groups as varied as Tiumpanhead Community Centre and Advocacy Western Isles; Crossroads Lewis and Bayview Community Gardens; the Innovation Centre at Lews Castle College; and Hebrides Alpha.

Donald John MacSween pointed out that many of the grants were agreed to run for five years and others for longer.  Bethesda, for instance, was to get £55,000 a year for 25 years.  “This is very important to us and it’s very important to them as well as it allows them to budget properly, it allows them to plan, it allows them to lever in extra funding.”  The former Bethesda fundraiser DR Macdonald had said that getting this sum at the start of each year would make the task of raising the remaining £200,000 needed “less difficult.”