March 13, 2017 | Community News
A contract for enabling works ahead of full site construction next year on Banks Renewables’ Middle Muir Wind Farm near Crawfordjohn in South Lanarkshire has been awarded to a Glasgow firm and is now well underway.
Contractor RJ McLeod has been appointed to deliver enabling works, including the construction of a grid platform for the wind farm, which includes foundations for a control building, at the site of Middle Muir Wind Farm in South Lanarkshire.
The appointment of the regional firm follows last year’s formal launch of the Connect2Renewables Charter, which sees Banks Renewables work in partnership with South Lanarkshire Council, committing a minimum of £69 million investment from the company’s wind farm projects to support the local economy and communities in the area.
The Charter prioritises local businesses in the supply chain during tendering and – through a dedicated job and training fund guaranteed for the first five years – set to support around 400-450 local unemployed people back into work, training or further education, during the construction and early operational life of both Banks’ Kype Muir and Middle Muir Wind Farm projects.
Jamie Corser, business development manager with RJ MacLeod, said: “As a Scottish Contractor, with 20 per cent of our employees from the Lanarkshire area, we are very pleased to be awarded this project, some 30 miles from our Head Office.
“We fully support Banks Renewables Connect2Renewables initiative, and this project demonstrates in practice their commitment to local companies and the local benefits that brings.”
The first phase of works includes 1,380m of new access track, watercourse crossings and a new bridge in addition to protection structures for existing utilities assets around the access point to the wind farm.
Works are expected to last until the end of January, after which the next phase, installing plant works, will begin. RJ McLeod has committed to ensuring local subcontractors are also used throughout the works – further fuelling the boost to the local economy.
Colin Anderson, development director with Banks Renewables, said: “When we devised Connect2Renewables it was very much with local companies’ skills and expertise in mind.
“With a significant proportion of its staff hailing from South Lanarkshire and its commitment to using local subcontractors, the involvement of RJ McLeod is a good outcome for the region hosting the wind farm.
“The Middle Muir site will provide the area with a great number of new jobs and traineeship opportunities throughout the construction process and continuing after completion.
“We are delighted to be kick-starting that – and beginning the project as we mean to go on.”
Middle Muir and a further major South Lanarkshire wind farm, Kype Muir, will have a combined capacity of 139MW.
Through its innovative Connect2Renewables initiative, the project will ensure a minimum of £69 million of local economic benefits for the area while a £1.74 million jobs and training fund will support around 400-450 local unemployed people into work, further education or workplace training.
Banks Renewables is part of the Banks Group (www.banksgroup.co.uk), a family firm founded in 1976, which now employs over 420 people in the renewable energy, property and mining sectors.