Killington charities looking to extend community work through revenues from proposed wind farm

January 30, 2014 | Armistead News

People of all ages across a South Cumbrian community are set to benefit from an extension of the work done by two long-standing local charities that will be funded through the revenues generated by a planned new wind farm.

The Killington Education Foundation and Killington United Charities are part-owners of the land on which the proposed Killington wind farm would sit if planning permission is granted for it.

The increased income that would go to the organisations from developer Banks Renewables for the rental of the wind farm site would substantially extend the work it was able to do in support of local people.

The two charities, which were originally formed to help pay for a school master, the local school and the poor and needy of the parish, currently provide both small limited education grants and help towards winter fuel and care costs, but have now released a list of the additional projects that it will be looking to undertake using revenues from the wind farm.

These include offering help for local students in offsetting the increased cost of entering further education, offering financial support for the elderly to allow them to continue to live in their own homes and providing grants towards home improvements that would increase local properties’ energy efficiency.

New funds would also be made available to improve the village’s existing community facilities, which would be based around the hall and church, and investments would also be made to enable the charities to maintain the level of support they will be able to offer over the 25-year lifespan of the wind farm and beyond.

The land is currently rented out for agricultural use, and would continue to be if the project goes ahead.

Brian Woof, chairman of Killington United Charities, says: “The two charities have contributed to the well-being of people across Killington for many decades, but the increased income from having the turbines on the land that we own would enable us to do so much more.

“We know that the new activities that we’re proposing to fund, which we’ve designed to cover as wide a cross-section of the community as we can, would make a real difference to the lives of very many local people, especially at a time where rising costs and falling public sector budgets would make them otherwise difficult to achieve.

“The wind farm revenues would also enable the charities to continue to support local needs for many years into the future, and make investments that will benefit generations to come.

“The Killington wind farm would enable us to make community improvements both now and long into the future, and we therefore very much hope that permission is granted for it to go ahead.”

In addition to the new funds generated for the two charities, a community benefits fund linked to the Killington wind farm, which could amount to around £1.25 million over the 25-year lifespan of the scheme, would be made available to help secure a positive, long-term local legacy for the area from the scheme.

Banks has been working with local people over the last two years to understand how they might want to allocate this fund, and have carried out a successful trial project which has shown how we could address their primary aspiration of improving broadband access for local businesses and homes by using some of the revenues generated for the fund.

The fund could also support a scheme to help local unemployed people into employment or training as well as supporting a range of projects from local community groups, voluntary organisations and environmental or conservation projects.

Up to 50 people could be working on site through the construction of the three-turbine wind farm, which would be located to the south of the A684 Sedbergh Road, adjacent to Junction 37 of the M6, and local businesses would also be able to tender for contracts worth around £2m relating to different aspects of its development, including construction, security, accommodation and catering.

Phil Dyke, development director at Banks Renewables, adds:  “Sharing the benefits of our schemes with the communities in which they’re sited has long been central to the way in which we operate, and the revenues that the two Killington charities would receive from this scheme would add even more to our own commitment to providing substantial new funding for community improvement projects.

“Modern, efficient, indigenous onshore wind farms have a crucial role to play in generating the energy that we all use without producing any harmful carbon emissions, and their construction also brings a range of tangible commercial, community and employment benefits to the communities in which they are located.

“More than 1,400 letters of support for this project have been submitted to South Lakeland District Council, the vast majority of which are from people living within ten miles of the Killington site, and we hope this will be taken fully into account when the Council planning committee members consider our proposals.”

Anyone who would like any further information about any aspect of the proposed Killington scheme should either visit www.banksgroup.co.uk/killington or contact the Banks Renewables’ community engagement team on 0191 378 6100 or via killington@banksgroup.co.uk

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