Banks Renewables grant to make walk to school safer for Old Hutton children

May 29, 2012 | Armistead News

Children in a south Cumbrian village will soon have a far safer walk to school after funding was secured from a renewable energy firm to build new footpaths through the area. 

The village of Old Hutton is comprised of three hamlets, with the school, church and village hall all located in the central part of the community. 

Up to now, people walking through the village have had to go along the increasingly-busy B6254 for parts of their journeys, as the existing footpaths don’t run along the entire length of the village. 

This country road is regularly used by vehicles going to and from the local quarry, as well as other traffic going through the village, leading to concerns from local residents. 

But now, after a £67,600 grant was given to Old Hutton & Homescales Parish Council by Banks Renewables, via its Banks Community Fund, new footpaths will be created which link with the existing walkways, meaning that pedestrians can keep away from the traffic altogether. 

Work on the new footpaths, the contract for which has been awarded to Cumbrian firm Thomas Armstrong (Construction) Ltd, will begin in June, and is scheduled to be completed in time for the start of the new academic year in September. 

Paul Edwards, chair of Old Hutton & Homescales Parish Council, says: “The Council created the two existing footpaths to the best specification that we could afford, but we would never had had the funds available to carry out this additional work, so we’re extremely grateful for the support that we’ve received from Banks to make this extremely important project happen. 

“This is obviously a very well-used route for village residents, school children, dog walkers and visitors to the area, but there’s always been a lot of concern about the places where the paths end and come straight onto the road, and we’ve wanted to try to make it safer for a long time.

 “The work that will be carried over the summer will make a huge difference – for example, the children at the village school are encouraged to walk there wherever possible as part of encouraging healthy lifestyles, and enabling them to do so in greater safety will mean such a lot to the families living here.” 

Banks is the company behind the Armistead wind farm that is currently being built on land near to Old Hutton, to the east of the M6 between junctions 36 and 37.  It has also recently begun a public engagement programme around the proposed Killington scheme, which would be situated on land between the A684 Sedbergh Road and Junction 37 of the M6. 

The Banks Renewables Armistead community benefits fund will make around £12,300 available every year to support environmental and community improvements in the surrounding area from December this year, and Banks will be working in partnership with local people to help ensure their priorities are reflected in the initiatives that are supported by this fund.

Mark Dowdall, environment and community director at the Banks Group, adds: “We’re extremely pleased to be supporting a project that will have such an immediate and positive impact on people living in the area.

“It’s a great example of the sort of community projects and environmental improvements that Banks wind farm community benefits funds are able to support – we are already developing a number of ideas for projects that could be backed by revenues from the Armistead wind farm, and will be able to do even more for the area if the Killington scheme is approved.”

Projects, community groups, or organisations looking for funding in the vicinity of a Banks Group development should contact the Banks Community Fund on 0191 378 6342.  For furhter information visit or

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