“AIMUp”, the community group from Innerleithen in the Scottish Borders progressing plans to build a permanent mechanical uplift, has reported the outcome of its recent community ballot. The ballot is a necessary step for the group to acquire the Forestry Commission land needed to build the uplift and came with stringent requirements to prove community support, including a minimum 50% turnout.
After the official count, the following result was declared:
- Eligible voting population = 4115
- Total number of votes = 2722
- Turnout = 66.2%
- Votes in favour of AIMUp proposal = 2488
- Percentage in favour = 91.4%
- Votes against = 184
- Spoilt papers = 50
The AIMUp team were blown away by this result and felt the turnout in particular is testament to the community's willingness to engage with the project as well as its desire to embrace the chance to make a difference.
With 60% of the eligible voters saying 'Yes' to the project, the team has a suitable mandate to progress. The result means the Forestry Commission Scotland National Forest Land Scheme minimum requirements of demonstrating community support have been met comfortably. Now the team is able to press ahead with the application to acquire the land in question.
Ian Campbell from AIMUp added: "We want to say a massive thanks to all who voted, the volunteers who helped with the project and the FCS Seedcorn Grant which helped fund the ballot. Now it's up to us to drive the project forward, deliver on the expectations that have been raised, ensure the uplift is built, that new jobs are created and more visitors come to enjoy the beauty and hospitality of the Tweed Valley."
For further information, or if you would like to get involved, please contact Ian Campbell at firstname.lastname@example.org see the group’s webpage at http://aimup.org.uk/ or via Facebook ‘Support-the-Innerleithen-Uplift;’.