Budding young artists set to see winning competition designs unveiled at Marr wind farm

June 28, 2013 | Community News

Four budding young south Yorkshire artists are set to find out which of them is going to have their work on display for all to see – on the base of a nearby wind turbine.

Barlborough-based developer Banks Renewables and Dearne Valley Eco-Vision organised a competition for local schools to design a piece of art that could be transferred onto each of the turbines at Banks’ Marr wind farm, which sits to the north west of Doncaster.

Entries sent in by children from Mexborough School and Gooseacre Primary School in Thurnscoe were shortlisted for the main prizes – and now, the winning designs, which were judged by members of the Banks project team and local councillors Cynthia Ransome, Jonathan Wood and Doreen Woodhouse, are set to be unveiled at a special event at the wind farm on Friday 5 July.

The children will all get to take a tour of the Marr site, and will be finding out more about how the wind farm was built, how electricity is generated by the turbines and how it is transported away to the National Grid and around the country.

A team from Rotherham-based Casting Innovations, an organisation which runs original, high quality interactive workshops and activities that encourage innovation to flourish in tandem with best practice environmental procedures, will also be taking part in the event.

They will be carrying out a live demonstration in which they will melt recycled aluminium cans and cast them into useful objects either for sale or for use in and around the schools.

Dearne Valley Eco-Vision project coordinator Oliver Hutchinson says: “We had a terrific response to this unique competition, and we’re just as excited as the children that took part to see the winning design unveiled.

“As well as putting their artistic ideas forward, the children that have taken part in this project have learnt more about a range of environmental topics, and we hope that everything they see during their visit to the wind farm site will give them even more food for thought.”

Cllr Cynthia Ransome adds: “We were all so impressed with both the standard of the work that the children produced and the effort that clearly went into making their entries the best they could be, and it’ll be great to see their reactions when the winners are revealed.”

Banks invested around £10m in the four-turbine Marr scheme, which has an installed capacity of 8MW, and which has been generating renewable electricity since the end of 2011.

An associated benefits fund worth more than £8,000 every year – or around £200,000 across the 25-year lifespan of the wind farm – is now enabling Banks to deliver a range of community and environmental improvements in partnership with local people, to help ensure tangible, long-term benefits result from the company’s presence in the area.

Schemes which have received grants from the Marr community benefits fund so far include a range of repairs carried out at St Wilfrid’s Church in Hickleton and ongoing management and improvement work at the Cliff Plantation and Stables Wood on the outskirts of Barnburgh.

Mark Dowdall, environment and community director at the Banks Group, says: “All the entries that we shortlisted demonstrated a great deal of thought and creativity, and choosing a winner for this competition was extremely difficult for the judging panel, including the three councillors who kindly helped us.

“The young people who have been involved with this project are part of the generation that will need to meet the challenge of producing the energy that we all consume from new, diverse, indigenous and environmentally responsible sources in addition to the traditional ones we’ve used for the last century.

“As well as generating renewable energy that will help meet this challenge, the Marr scheme is also providing funding for community projects that will make a positive difference to the local area for decades to come.”

The Marr community benefits fund is open to applications for projects in the local area. For further information, please contact the Banks Group on 0844 209 1515 (local rate call from a BT land line) or enquiries@banksgroup.co.uk

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