• An Image Slideshow
  • An Image Slideshow
  • An Image Slideshow
  • An Image Slideshow
  • An Image Slideshow
  • An Image Slideshow
  • An Image Slideshow

News from Alan Caldwell Associates

Business Planning - Dunmurchie Farm

It is a welcome sign of the times that local communities are beginning to reap the financial benefits of the renewable energy revolution. The Hadyard Hill Community Benefit Fund in South Ayrshire is looking to purchase up to 96 acres at Dinmurchie Farm in Barr as a long term investment. The purchase is taking place through the National Forest Land Scheme and we are preparing the business plan to support this community investment.

Dinmurchie Farm is regarded as National Forest Land and is owned by the Scottish Government on behalf of the nation and managed by the Forestry Commission.  The Hadyard Hill Community Benefit Fund Ltd is the community company established to distribute the funds generated by SSE's wind farm of the same name.  After an initial period of distributing funds (see here) the directors are looking to invest the significant funds in projects that will bring long term community benefit to the three community council areas.

Working alongside local architects ARPL (see here) we are preparing the business case options to support the community purchase.  Following a highly successful 'Big Design Day' held in the local hall and attended by over 100 residents, a community led brief is taking shape.  Options currently being explored in a phased development include shared ownership housing in the main farmhouse; a bunkhouse; a creative industries studio space; enterprise units; and the longer term potential for a new build housing site.  Plans include exploiting the outdoor recreation potential of the farm and surrounding area while meeting some of the immediate needs of local youngsters for a skateboard area. Allotments and community food growing are possibilities along with small scale renewable energy projects including a 'district' biomass heating system and small scale hydro. Continuing to lease land for local grazing and improving the quality of the land with an extensive drainage scheme are also proposed.  A major challlenge will be solving the current lack of mobile phone coverage which will inhibit the longer term development of enterprise for Barr and Dinmurchie Farm.  The business case will explore inovative options of community investment in this particular problem.

The business case will be concluded in January 2013.