Community fund officially opens as Heysham South wind farm goes live

April 27, 2015 | Armistead News

Groups and good causes in the communities around a new wind farm in north Lancashire are being invited to apply for new funding from the community fund linked to it after it was officially switched on.

Renewable energy firm Banks Renewables, part of the Banks Group, has invested £11.7m in the three turbine Heysham South Wind Farm, which is located around 1km to the south east of the town and which began to generate green energy recently after the completion of commissioning and testing work.

The Heysham South Wind Farm community benefits fund will be worth at least £300,000 across the 25-year lifespan of the wind farm, and will enable Banks Renewables to deliver a range of community and environmental improvements in partnership with local people, which will help ensure that tangible, long-term benefits result from the company’s presence in the area.

Local groups are now being invited to submit funding applications for specific capital projects, with the sorts of schemes that have been funded from the equivalent fund linked to the nearby Armistead wind farm in south Cumbria including improvements to community buildings such as village halls and churches, first aid equipment and children’s play equipment.

Agreement on which funding applications are approved will made by a committee made of local people and Banks Renewables representatives which will meet twice a year, with the deadline by when applications for consideration at the first of these meetings are needed being the end of July.

Between ten and fifty people have been employed at any one time during the site preparation and construction phases of what is Banks Renewables’ sixth onshore wind farm.

Contracts were also awarded to local firms for various elements of the project wherever possible, with suppliers including Lingwood Security in Heysham, Kendal drainage contractor John Thacker, Morecambe Metals skip hire, Pye Motors and Milnthorpe fencing contractor M D Hannafin being appointed to the job.

Mark Dowdall, environment and community director at The Banks Group, says: “Work on the Heysham South wind farm has progressed very well, and it’s fantastic to see the turbines turning.

“The wind farm has already brought direct employment, economic and supply chain benefits to the area, but the story of the substantial long-term impact it will have on the facilities available for local people through the community fund linked to it is only just beginning.

“We’re keen to hear from as many local groups as possible on how they think this funding can best be allocated to bring maximum benefit to the communities around the wind farm, and the decisions on which schemes receive funding will be made with the direct input of people who live in the area.

“Onshore wind farms have a crucial role to play in generating more of the clean, green energy that we all need to fuel our homes, schools and businesses, and we’re very pleased to have added Heysham South to our portfolio of operational wind farms around the UK.”

Anyone interested in applying for funding from The Heysham South Wind Farm community benefits fund should contact James Eaglesham on 0191 378 6342 or via james@bankscommunityfund.org.uk.

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