June 23, 2016 | Community News
Budding young artists at two West Yorkshire schools are being given the chance to make their mark on the local landscape by having their work displayed on a local wind turbine.
Renewable energy firm Banks Renewables has organised a competition for pupils at Micklefield and Aberford C of E Primary Schools to design pieces of art that could be transferred onto the base of one of the five turbines at the firm’s Hook Moor wind farm, which sits on agricultural land near the junction of the M1 and A1.
And the children also have the opportunity to name each of the five turbines.
A shortlist of entries will be drawn up by a judging panel which will include elected members from Leeds City Council along with representatives of the Hook Moor project team, and the winning designs and names will be unveiled at the official opening event for the wind farm in mid-July.
The young competition entrants will also all be invited along to take a tour of the Hook Moor site during the event, 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.
Gillian Dodsworth, headteacher at Micklefield C of E Primary School, says, “The exciting development of the wind farm in our locality has provided, and will continue to provide, our children with a first-hand opportunity to see how clean, renewable energy is produced.
“During the development of the site, photographs were sent to our school, so that we could follow each stage of the construction. Our children and their families followed its progress with interest and they were able to visit the site to watch a huge crane hoist the first of the turbines up to be installed on top of its mast.
“They have enjoyed taking part in the art competition and are looking forward to choosing names for the turbines.”
Banks Renewables, part of The Banks Group, invested £14m in building the Hook Moor wind farm, which was the first to be built in the Leeds metropolitan area and which began to generate clean green energy at the end of 2015.
The community benefits fund linked to the wind farm is now up and running, and the first successful grant applications made to it by local community groups, environmental projects and voluntary organisations are set to be announced in the near future.
Further applications for grants of up to £3,000 are still being sought, and will be judged by a funding committee which includes representatives of Leeds City Council, Aberford Parish Council and Micklefield Residents Association, with support from a dedicated fund manager from the Banks Community Fund team.
Eligibility for funding is normally restricted to projects and activities within Aberford and Micklefield, but projects in neighbouring areas may also be eligible if they can be shown to benefit people living in Aberford and Micklefield.
Lewis Stokes, community relations manager at the Banks Group, says: “As well as putting their artistic ideas forward and picking names for the turbines, the children taking part in the competition will have the chance to learn more about a range of environmental topics, and we’re excited to see what ideas they come up with.
“The winning entries will be transferred onto each of the five Hook Moor turbines, so will be seen every day by local people for many years to come.
“The young people who are 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 Hook Moor scheme is now beginning to provide new funding for community projects that will make a real difference to the local area for decades to come.
“Modern, efficient, indigenous onshore wind farms such as Hook Moor generate safe, clean and sustainable energy, as well as offering the cheapest available form of renewable energy generation, and we’re very much looking forward to our official launch event for it.”
For further information on the Hook Moor wind farm, please visit www.banksgroup.co.uk/hook-moor