Community wind farm charity Point and Sandwick Trust is diverting all spare income for this year to set up a pandemic support fund for the local community.

The Trust, which runs a three-turbine, 9MW scheme on the Isle of Lewis in Scotland’s Western Isles, said any income that is not already committed will be devoted to local organisations in support of efforts to cope with the coronavirus threat.

Former MP for the Western Isles Calum Macdonald, who is also the development manager for Point and Sandwick Trust, said: “We are very lucky that there have been no reported infections in the island as yet and we pray that it remains that way.

“But whatever happens, we will have to pull together to help each other and also to help the fantastic health and care workers we have in these islands to tackle this virus.

“That is why the board have decided to use all its spare income in 2020, or to the end of the emergency, to set up a Pandemic Community Fund.

“We will have discussions with local organisations including Comhairle nan Eilean Siar [the Western Isles Council] and NHS Western Isles to work out how the fund can best be used.

“We also hope to have discussions with other funding partners and intend to support work being done locally by Point, Sandwick and Stornoway Community Councils and others.

“The full impact of the pandemic in those countries worst affected has been traumatic. We have to be ready for it coming here, when it will be all hands to the deck.”

The Trust said its development is the largest fully community-owned wind farm in the UK.

The announcement of the emergency fund was welcomed by community councils in the area.

Chair of Point Community Council Chris Tom Mackenzie said: “With services already stretched and struggling this will provide a much-needed lifeline to many in our community during this difficult time for our island.

“I would hope that this will also encourage other organisations to also help their communities where they can.”

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