Bute Community Land Company (BCLC) is delighted to announce the appointment of global management, engineering and development consultancy, Mott MacDonald, to oversee the development stage of the proposed Balnakailly Hydro Scheme in Bute’s Community Forest.

Supported by the Scottish Government’s Climate Challenge Fund, which sponsors only those projects which can offer a lasting legacy of measurable and significant carbon emission reduction, Mott MacDonald will work with both BCLC and the island’s community to develop the Hydro Scheme project and therefore, the future financial sustainability of Bute’s Community Forest.

The timeline for the development stage starts from now until 31st March 2012, in which time Karen Keast, who Mott MacDonald have designated as the Balnakailly Hydro Scheme project manager, will work closely with the Bute Forest Manager to prepare and plan for the establishment of a hydro plant in Bute’s much celebrated Community Forest. During the months of September and December, the local community will be invited to public events in order to undertake comprehensive and inclusive formal community consultation.  Together, the directors of BCLC-in particular consultant engineer Jim Mitchell, the Forest Project Manager and Mott MacDonald will be available to answer questions and provide information on the project’s development.

With both EU and Scottish government support in the form of Highlands and Island Enterprise and LEADER grants, BCLC has been able to employ a Forest manager for a total period of two years in which to pursue the development of environmentally and financially sustainable projects in Bute’s Community Forest. The efforts of the Forest Manager and the vision of BCLC are now soon to be realised—after months of consultation with statutory consultees, Community Energy Scotland, and independent experts, work is already underway!

Written by Justine Ballantyne