A new group aimed at helping communities benefit from future wind farm incomes has officially launched at a Dumfries House ceremony.

The newly-established 9CC Group hosted their official business introduction at Dumfries House, with more than 180 guests in attendance.

In the works since 2019, the group is comprised of the community councils of Auchinleck, Cumnock, Netherthird, Cronberry - Logan & Lugar (CLL), New Cumnock, Dalmellington, Patna, Drongan - Rankinston & Stair (DRS) and Ochiltree & Skares.

It was established to join forces of all community councils within the wider area with the aim to become a dedicated single Trust for wind farm developments and future community benefits in the area, which are set to be of a major scale in the coming years.

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The 9CC Group aims to ensure fair distribution of wind farm community benefits funds borne out of these developments.

Stephen McCarron, chief executive officer of the 9CC Group, said: "First established in late 2019, much blood, sweat and tears have gone into ironing out the do’s and don’ts of this first-of-its-kind group and we have now begun to establish a strategic business plan and way forward.

"With our new operational model and headquarters in the Boswell Centre, Auchinleck, we are well on our way to a truly bright future.

"Significant effort and investment are currently underway to ensure that governance processes and structures are set up to ensure that funds will be properly allocated, managed and monitored.

"By bringing all of our community councils together, we are certain that we can create long-lasting local benefits in a variety of forms for every community located within the 9CC Group eligibility area across East Ayrshire."

Cumnock Chronicle: Chief Operating Office Stephen McCarron.Chief Operating Office Stephen McCarron. (Image: 9cc group.)

Alex Baird, chairman of the 9CC Group, added: "We need more local people to get involved in delivering this vision for the 9CC communities.

"If you would like to find out more about all the potential projects or how to get involved, I believe everyone has a pamphlet with our newly launched website and contact details on their seats.

"As I have said, we are available to talk and we want to listen, applications are now open for funding and we encourage all local stakeholders to get involved."