August 23, 2012 | Community News
A hotel reputed to be the oldest road-house in Scotland is gearing up for a boost in business should plans for Banks wind farm in South Lanarkshire go ahead.
The Red Moss Hotel, owned by Eddie McNeil, is just one of many local businesses set to benefit from a £10.4million boost to the local economy as an indirect result of the Banks Renewables Middle Muir Wind Farm.
The Hamilton based developer has submitted plans for the 19 turbine wind farm and the project will require up to 50 people on the site at any one time during the construction phases, which will provide a significant boost for the local economy.
Eddie McNeil said: “Red Moss has a fantastic reputation and is in a really strong location between major Scottish roads so the business has been kept busy in recent years especially with it being one of the last standing truck stops.
“If the development for the wind farm goes ahead however, we will hopefully experience a significant increase in business, which will help boost our occupancy and income, helping secure the future prosperity of the business.
“We have spoken with Banks Renewables and are fully aware of plans for the wind farm, which will not only provide an important source of energy but will help businesses such as ours in the area secure benefits and boost the local economy.
“If the construction of the wind farm goes ahead, we will look forward to welcoming the extra guests, who will be treated to a comfortable and friendly stay here at the hotel.
“The hotel has plenty to offer those who need to relax after what’s likely to be a strenuous shift with the bar area and a restaurant where I serve up my daily home cooked meals which always go down a treat.”
During the construction of the wind farm the majority of contracts will be sourced to local firms, but there will be a handful of jobs filled by companies outside of the area, who will bring extra income to local hotel, retail and hospitality businesses during their stay.
Banks Renewables has submitted a planning application to the Scottish Government’s energy consents unit, which will rule on the project. The firm is also keeping South Lanarkshire Council fully informed of its plans for 19 turbines on farmland at Middle Muir, 2km North West of Crawfordjohn.
The scheme would generate up 76MW, enough to meet the annual electricity requirements of around 29,000 homes. It would displace up 65,700 tonnes of CO2 a year from the atmosphere that would otherwise be released if the electricity was generated by fossil fuel power stations.
Colin Anderson, director at Banks Renewables said: “Our development with care philosophy is fundamental to everything we do. It’s important we have a strong working partnership with a local community, so that families and businesses see real, long-term benefits.
“It’s clear that the work involved in the construction of the wind farm is an excellent opportunity for businesses in South Lanarkshire over the next ten years.
“Our approach will not only help to create local jobs but could also lead to further income coming into the area through things like local supply chain.”
Around £61.4will be ploughed into the construction of the wind farm and £10.4m of this will be available to local suppliers through balance of plant contracts, as well as indirectly through the need for food suppliers, hotels and haulage and delivery drivers and more.