KCDT AGM Directors Report 2015-16

Dear Members,
I am delighted to be writing this Directors Report in November, only a few months after our financial year end in August.    Thanks to our investment in Paxtons Charity software and the hard work of Neil Greer, Zoe Hubbard and our auditors, we can now give you a much earlier view of our recent activities and finances than in previous years.
We should be encouraged by a Big Lottery Health-Check that described KCDT as “a good
example of a community anchor-organisation attempting to build a sustainable future”.
However, following the disappointment of the Fauch Hill Windfarm, we were to be given
another blow by the new Conservative government’s changes to accreditation and FITs that killed off the financial viability of our proposed small-scale joint Hydro-Electric projects.
Recognising our situation the Big Lottery responded to our call and gave us an additional two years of funding to investigate our future sustainability in renewable energy, including
Camilty Wind Farm, our joint relationship with the KCA and Gala and the potential for
securing funding from other sources.
I am happy to say we were awarded £60,000 land fund award and, alongside £15,000 of trust capital funds, we were able to acquire the land at Camps Junction for our proposal to
construct seven zero energy houses for the elderly.  An additional £10,000 is available for
feasibility work from Rural Housing Grant and working with Horizon RSL and Almond
Developments we hope to achieve a grant of £500,000 from the Scottish Rural Housing
fund and £140,000 from European Leader Funds to make this housing a reality for the
community of Kirknewton.
The Camps Junction development is one of the major objectives in the second Kirknewton
Community Development Plan, launched this year.  This followed our community
consultation, which was used as a case study in the WLCs Engaging Communities Toolkit
brochure.  We also ran our second skills survey, looking for community volunteers who could lend their expertise to several of the projects that make up that Development Plan.
Now in its third year the Green Room goes from strength to strength. Recognising our
achievements nationally the Green Room played host to Angela Constance launching support for Community Ownership Support Service and Big Lottery Scotland for their new
Community Assets Programme. We also had meetings from the new Leader European
Funding Group and the Development Trust Association of Scotland.
Other projects of note this year
  • We continued the Youth Club and ran a John Muir Award programme with Cyrenians and Saltire Awards
  • Had our first Firework display with over 1000 people attending and the Christmas Fair & Family BBQ at the Stables with 500 people attending.
  • Ran a series of Business Breakfasts giving advice on funding for new start-ups and current businesses as well as sharing ideas and promoting local tourism.
  • Supported the football club and the Playgroup coming under the banner of Community Playgroups.
  • Won £10,000 to build a Sensory Garden in the Community Woodland from Tesco.
  • Completed Harperrig car park improvements following £25,000 grant from LandTrust
  • Ran a £12,000 sports programme, funded by Big Lottery Communities Fund
Looking to the future we are currently supporting work on the new Park Pavilion, further
park improvements and seeking a grant of £640,000 to develop the housing at Camps
Junction.  As always we welcome your support and assistance with everything we do on
behalf of the community.
Finally, a heartfelt thanks to all our volunteers throughout the village who help to improve
life for those who live and work here.  Particular thanks go to Neil Greer as outgoing
Treasurer following a move to East Calder and staff member Zoe Hubbard who has gone on
to pastures new as Office Manager of an Edinburgh Youth Project.
Very Best Wishes
Stewart McKenna

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