Local business backs wind farm jobs boost

June 4, 2013 | Community News

A local construction firm has praised the efforts of Banks Renewables for our plans to offer a significant share of the estimated £70 Million build cost of a proposed wind farm to local South Lanarkshire companies.

We recently submitted plans to create a 17 turbine wind farm at Middle Muir, 2km North West of Crawfordjohn and have pledged to agree a target level of direct investment through local firms during the construction of the wind farm, should we get the go ahead.

We revealed that upwards of £10million worth of direct contracts will be available to local firms during the construction of the site, at our most recent public exhibition at Crawfordjohn last month (MAY).

Contracts include construction and maintenance, groundworks, quarry and building products, plant hire, waste solutions, fabrication, aggregates, hospitality, utilities and professional services.

In addition we are working with South Lanarkshire Council to develop a locally targeted employment and training initiative, to be funded by its wind farms, with the specific objective of increasing job opportunities for local people.

John Lawrie Builders – a construction firm operating in South Lanarkshire – is just one of many local businesses which could benefit from this boost to the local economy should plans for the Middle Muir Wind Farm go ahead.

Managing Director, John Lawrie, said: “As a local construction company we are extremely pleased to hear that Banks Renewables is proposing to develop in the area as this means potentially more work for local companies such as us. Developments such as this are becoming more and more important to local builders as well as the local economy.

“We’ve already spoken with Banks Renewables’ team and we’re fully aware of the details of the wind farm and are gearing up to support its construction in the hope it gets approved. I believe wind farms not only provide an important source of energy, but provide a very real and welcome boost to the local economy.

“I’d urge other businesses in the area to seize this opportunity and apply for the various contracts when they become available. I’d also suggest they get in touch with Banks Renewables now to get onto their tender lists, as this will give them a head start and they too can benefit from Banks Renewables’ commitment to and willingness to work with local companies like ourselves.”

The successful construction firm knows first hand the value that work from renewable developments can bring, as a previous contract at Clyde Wind Farm (an SSE development) saw John Lawrie Builders create 35 new jobs, during the construction period – a number of which lead to more permanent positions within the organisation.

John Lawrie with Van

It is hoped that the successful local firm which was founded in 2003, specialising not just in the erection of concrete wind turbine bases, but a host of traditional and specialist construction projects, will be among several local businesses given the opportunity to create a new jobs boom for the area.

We have already issued letters to 65 local businesses in and around South Lanarkshire informing them of the contracts which will be available and urging them to come and talk to them at an early stage.

It is expected there will also be significant indirect benefits for the local economy during wind farm construction, with local shops, pubs, hotels, hauliers, delivery companies and caravan providers all set to benefit.

It is however our commitment to utilising local labour and creating new local employment that has the potential to create the most positive impact and create greater wealth and prosperity in the area over the long term.

Colin Anderson, development director at Banks Renewables, said: “As a firm we are committed to ensuring our developments bring as many benefits to local people and businesses as possible.

“Our development with care approach underpins all that we do, and it is important to us that we have a strong working partnership with the local community, so that families and businesses see real, long term benefits.

“It’s clear that the work involved in both the construction of the wind farm and all the other essential support services and goods that are needed provide 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 investment into the area through the local supply chain.

“We are actively encouraging as many local businesses as possible to contact us and see how they can get involved in our developments in South Lanarkshire and we are sure this will lead to the maximum possible use of local companies in the construction of our Middle Muir Wind Farm, should it be approved.”

The Middle Muir Wind Farm planning application is due to go before South Lanarkshire Council in the summer and will be finally determined by the Scottish Governments Energy Consents Unit later in the year.

If approved Middle Muir Wind Farm could generate up to 68MW of electricity.

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