Generous donation to save historic local monument

December 19, 2012 | Community News

We are delighted to announce that a five figure donation from Banks Renewables, will now mean that a precious piece of Scottish history will now be restored to its former condition.

We have pledged £4,990 to the Scottish Covenanter Memorials Association (SCMA) to carry out much needed repair work on a 19th century memorial in South Lanarkshire.

The Auchengilloch Covenanter Memorial lies on rural land 6 miles South of Strathaven and within close vicinity of out proposed wind farm site at Kype Muir.  It was erected in 1830 to commemorate local victims of a bloody skirmish during the Presbyterian oppression by government forces.

Bill Niven, President of the Scottish Covenanter Memorials Association said: “We are delighted that Banks Renewables has chosen to help us save Auchingilloch Memorial, allowing future generations to learn about this important part of Scottish history. 

“Banks Renewables initially approached us after carrying out an environmental survey on the Kype Muir site in which they identified that our memorial was in need of restoration works, and suggested we apply to their community fund, which was ultimately successful.

“The funding will allow for the replacement of the existing cast iron fence, remedial works to the monument itself and the creation of an extended viewing area as well as new signage.”

The SCMA has been active for over 35 years in protecting, restoring or replacing the numerous monuments and memorials to the Covenanters across Scotland to keep this rich history alive, which is only made possible through the work of volunteers and is supported entirely through contributions from entities such as Banks Renewables.

As part of our development with care approach, we identify local community groups and voluntary organisations that we can support in the vicinity of our renewable energy developments, with the SCMA being one of the first beneficiaries of the Kype Muir scheme.

We won the backing of South Lanarkshire Council in March for a 26 turbine wind farm to be installed at its Kype Muir site, south of Strathaven. A final decision on the 26 turbine development will be now be made by the Scottish Government consents unit.

Through engaging with local communities, we have now proposed a partnership with the local communities whereby they would have a share in the operating wind farm, with revenues from this expected to provide around £8.9 million to the communities over the 25 year lifetime of the wind farm.

Following feedback from the communities that the lack of education, training and job opportunities were the biggest issues facing the area, we will now focus on developing a targeted training and apprenticeship scheme supported by South Lanarkshire Council, potential employers and other delivery partners.

This will be consulted on during a further round of community forums early in 2013.

In addition to this initiative we estimates that construction of the wind farm would result in tenders worth around £17m  being put out to the Scottish construction industry, with local businesses encouraged to tender for the work.

Colin Anderson, director at Banks Renewables said: “Our development with care philosophy is fundamental to everything we do. If our project is approved, the wind farm will be here for more than 25 years and we want to be part of the fabric of the local community and for local people to see long-term benefits from our developments.

“Identifying and supporting local groups such as the SCMA is just one way in which we are doing this and we are delighted to be able to help support them in the worthwhile work they carry out to ensure the Scottish Covenanter memorials are preserved.

“We are pleased that our donation will allow future generations to enjoy the Auchengilloch monument in all its glory and learn about this fascinating aspect of local history and we will continue to offer this kind of support to local community groups throughout the development process, as well as the lifetime of the proposed site should it be approved.”

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.

Kype Muir could generate up to 104MW, enough to meet the electricity needs of up to 82,000 homes. Annually it could displace around 140,000 tonnes of CO2 a year from the atmosphere that would otherwise be released if electricity was produced from fossil fuel power generation.

Our development with care approach underpins all the work we do, driving community consultation and environmental excellence.  Community groups and voluntary organisations in the vicinity of a Banks Renewables development can apply to the Banks Community Fund for funding by contacting Dawn Huntrod on 0191 378 6342.

Banks Renewables is part of the Banks Group (www.banksgroup.co.uk), a family firm founded in 1976, which now employs 380 people in the renewable energy, property and mining sectors. The company’s development with care approach underpins all community consultation and ensures environmental excellence.

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