A football club which has a history steeped in coal mining is ironically set to receive an economic boost from a wind farm developer.
As Ayrshire goes through a wind revolution, with the new and vital form of energy production becoming increasingly important locally, Cumnock Juniors has announced a two year sponsorship with one of Scotland’s leading wind farm developers – Banks Renewables.
Cumnock Juniors Club Secretary, George Morton said: “We’re thrilled to have reached agreement on the sponsorship with Banks Renewables. This not only gives us a fantastic platform to push on and hopefully challenge for silverware, but also to support the youth development plans we have for the club.
“We were aware Banks Renewables were talking to a lot of local people and community groups about their plans for developing wind farms in the area and the huge boost these could provide to the local economy;
“It was therefore great news when Banks decided it wanted to support Cumnock Juniors because of the positive role we play in the community.
“It’s a real pat on the back for everyone who gives up their time freely to help the club week in, week out.”
Cumnock Juniors Football Club celebrates its centenary year this year and has a long and proud history, with many titles and cup victories. Since its formation in 1912 it has been a cornerstone for the local community, providing coaching for a range of youth teams from the ages of seven to nineteen.
The support from Banks Renewables gives a huge boost to the club’s ambition of creating high quality facilities for youth coaching and development, which will allow the club to expand its youth development programme and attract and then retain young players; hopefully creating a long term pipeline into the professional game.
The plans include the upgrading of existing buildings and changing rooms which will also benefit other community groups and clubs, who are also able to use these facilities.
Banks Renewables is known for its development with care approach and always seeks to identify local voluntary organisations, community groups and clubs in the vicinity of its developments, which it can support.
Banks Renewables currently has two wind farms approaching application stage in East Ayrshire; one at High Cumnock and one at Lethans Forest, both east of Cumnock.
With a combined capacity of around 52 turbines the sites could generate enough power to meet the annual electricity requirements of approximately 96,300 homes. Annually they’d displace around 194,000 tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere that would otherwise be released if this electricity was produced from fossil fuel power generation.
Colin Anderson, director at Banks Renewables, said: “We are making a huge commitment to Ayrshire with the proposals at High Cumnock and Lethans.
“These projects would, if approved, support a major, long term education, training and employment scheme, which we are currently developing with local partners, as well as directly supporting many local groups, clubs and organisations like Cumnock Juniors.
““It’s really important to us that we develop positive, long term relationships with local communities and work with them to ensure that local businesses, families and other organisations see real, long lasting benefits from their local wind farm.
“All the feedback we’ve had locally has highlighted Cumnock Juniors, as well as other local teams like Glenafton and Auchinleck, as really important within Ayrshire society.
“When we then spoke to George and learned of their plans for the development of Townend Park and their youth programme, we were happy to support them and help secure a bright future for the club.”
Banks Renewables is committed to maintaining the positive community relationships that it has developed over the last year in the run up to the submission of the planning applications and welcomes all feedback in respect of these proposals as they develop.
Power generated by wind farms will help Scotland continue to enjoy the constant, reliable energy supply modern life demands – and such wind farms have already reduced the nation’s reliance on fossil fuels imported from unstable overseas markets.