The renewable energy firm behind the first wind farm in the Leeds metropolitan area is calling on nearby community groups, environmental projects and voluntary organisations to apply for grants of up to £3,000 from a growing benefits fund that was specifically set up to support them.
As part of Banks Renewables’ development of the five-turbine Hook Moor wind farm, which sits near the junction of the M1 and A1, a community benefits fund was set up to provide around £10,000 every year of community funding for local good causes, which equates to approximately £250,000 over the scheme’s 25-year lifespan.
Around £20,000 of the revenues created since the wind farm began to generate green energy at the end of 2015 have so far been directed into the fund, and a committee including representatives of Leeds City Council, Aberford Parish Council and Micklefield Residents Association has been working to distribute grants in ways which best meet local Priorities.
Organisations that have so far received grants include Aberford Bowling Club, Micklefield Tenants & Residents Association and playgroup charity Methley Mites.
But with around £14,000 still sitting in the fund and the next tranche of revenues due to paid into the fund in the near future, Banks Renewables is now encouraging local people to investigate if their group or good cause might be the next name to join the list of groups supported by the fund.
Eligibility for grants from the Hook Moor fund is normally restricted to projects and activities within Aberford and Micklefield, with a maximum grant of £3,000 available, but projects outside these areas may be eligible if they can be shown to benefit people living within them.
Applications to the Hook Moor wind farm community benefits fund can be submitted at any time, with the funding committee scheduled to meet every few months.
Lewis Stokes, community relations manager at the Banks Group, says: “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 their work for years to come.
“We’re pleased with the type and quality of the projects that we’ve been able to support so far, but would love to hear as many new ideas as possible about the ways in which the money that the wind farm is generating can make even more of a long-term difference to the local area.”
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 visit http://www.banksgroup.co.uk/development-with-care/bankscommunityfund/wind-farm-community-fund