March 27, 2017 | Community News
George Smith, chair of Stonehouse Community Council in South Lanarkshire has praised a renewable energy company for putting local people at the heart of the development process – following the first meeting of the Kype Muir Community Partnership (KMCP).
Hamilton based company, Banks Renewables, is ensuring local communities around its Kype Muir wind farm play a pivotal role in agreeing how a significant community fund generated by the wind farm is distributed in the local area.
The Kype Muir wind farm, which is located just south of Strathaven, will create a total community contribution of around £442,000 per annum, adding up to a total of £11.53 million over the life time of the wind farm project. The wind farm will contribute half of this fund to South Lanarkshire Renewable Energy Fund with the other half of the community fund allocated by the KMCP to benefit the area. For the first five years of operation of the Kype Muir wind farm both the REF and KMCP will support the Connect2 Renewables employability scheme that will help local unemployed people break down the barriers faced to get into workplace training and employment.
As part of its commitment to ensuring that local people are involved throughout the construction and operation of Kype Muir wind farm, the Kype Muir Community Partnership has been formed. The KMCP will meet regularly to discuss the project and help to communicate the progress on the wind farms construction to the local community. The KMCP is comprised of representatives from Stonehouse, Strathaven & Glassford, Sanford & Upper Avondale and Lesmahagow Community Councils along with other members of the community.
George Smith, chair of Stonehouse Community Council and the elected chair of the KMCP, has hailed the success of the initial meeting and is excited at the prospects.
He said: “From day one Banks Renewables has been very open and transparent with the local communities. As a result Banks has built a strong relationship with the local communities – not least the four local community councils.
“The initial KMCP meeting was a success with positive debate and a good turnout. The KMCP means we can communicate and share the progress on site to everyone who lives in the area.
“We are also speaking with local people to find out what they want the community fund spent on to help sustain and improve village life.
“It is pleasing to see the Kype Muir project begin to take shape as initial works start on site.”
The 88.4MW Kype Muir Wind Farm in South Lanarkshire is a project that sees Banks Renewables delivering on the commitments made within its ground-breaking Connect2Renewables Charter; and which is expected to deliver more than £44 million into the local economy over the next 30 years.
Following the meeting of the KMCP in January 2017, the KMCP will meet every few months to get the latest information on the scheme and address any queries from local people.
Lewis Stokes, community relations manager at the Banks Group, said: “The KMCP provides a fantastic example of how we can ensure everyone is kept involved at every stage of the project. It is important to make sure that local people can raise any matters and ask questions about the wind farm to the project team.
“In addition to generating significant amounts of renewable energy, Kype Muir Wind Farm will bring a range of other benefits to the local area, from new jobs and commercial opportunities for local businesses through to funding for a range of local community improvements and skills development initiatives.”
Construction works, including turbine erection, and connecting the wind farm to the National Grid, will be completed by early 2019.
For further general information on the wind farm, please click here
Banks Renewables is part of the Banks Group, a family firm founded in 1976, which now employs more than 400 people in the renewable energy, property and mining sectors.