December 21, 2016 | Community News
One of the turbine blades arriving at the Lambs Hill wind farm site during its construction earlier this year
Community groups, environmental projects and voluntary organisations in the areas around a new wind farm on Teesside are being invited to apply for grants from the benefits fund linked to it.
Banks Renewables, part of The Banks Group, will provide £10,000 every year of community funding from the fund linked to its new Lambs Hill wind farm, which sits to the north west of Stockton, or around £250,000 over the scheme’s 25-year lifespan.
The family-owned firm will work in partnership with the local community around the distribution of the available funding to ensure that tangible long-term benefits result from its local operations, and that the available capital is spent in ways which meet local priorities.
A funding committee comprised of local people and supported by a dedicated fund manager from the Banks Community Fund team has already been set up, with Sue Bell of Great Stainton Parish Council being appointed as chair and John Corbey of Stillington & Whitton Parish Council becoming vice chair.
Eligibility for funding is normally restricted to projects and activities within Stillington & Whitton, Bishopton, Foxton, Great Stainton, Little Stainton, Grindon, and Bishopton Crossings, but projects outside these areas may also be eligible if they can be shown to benefit people living within them.
A maximum grant of £3,000 per project is available, with particular emphasis being placed on the children, senior citizens and disabled within the community.
The first tranche of funding will start to come on stream once the Lambs Hill wind farm is fully operational, which is expected to be before the end of the year.
Funding applications can be submitted at any time, with the funding committee scheduled to meet every few months.
Erection of the four turbines which make up the Lambs Hill wind farm was completed last month, and work on commissioning the scheme is well underway.
Contracts worth well over £1m have been awarded to North East sub-contractors as part of the creation of the Lambs Hill Wind Farm, which will have an installed capacity of up to 10MW.
Lewis Stokes, community relations manager at the Banks Group, says: “The Lambs Hill wind farm has been designed to have a substantial long-term impact on the facilities available for local people through the community fund linked to the energy it will produce, and we’re keen to start finding out from local people how they think this money can best be used.
“Public funding remains very hard to come by for many community groups, and the money available from this fund could make a big difference to the facilities and activities local people are able to access for years to come.
“Involving a range of community representatives in the determination of grant applications will help us to ensure that it is being allocated in ways which meet local priorities, and we’re keen to hear from as many different local groups as we can, so we can start to make a positive contribution to local community groups throughout the life of the wind farm.
“Modern, efficient, indigenous onshore wind farms such as Lambs Hill generate safe, clean and sustainable energy, as well as offering the cheapest available form of renewable energy generation.”
Projects, community groups, or voluntary organisations looking for grant funding from the fund should contact James Eaglesham at the Banks Community Fund on 0191 378 6342 or click here