The community fund linked to a South Yorkshire wind farm has been opened up to help support local community groups’ responses to the coronavirus crisis.
The Marr wind farm fund usually prioritises capital expenditure projects for groups and good causes in the immediate surrounding area.
But in response to the impact of the pandemic, operator Banks Renewables has agreed with the local grants panel to temporarily relax the eligibility criteria and extend the area within which grants can be made.
And after working with local councillors to identify the most appropriate projects to support, grants worth a total of £4,000 have been quickly approved and paid over to three local projects, with several others also now in the pipeline.
A £1,500 grant has been given to Stronger Together and the Mexborough Foodbank, who are collecting and distributing much-needed food parcels across a number of South Yorkshire communities.
The same amount has been donated to Tickhill Town Council in support of the services they’re providing to elderly and vulnerable people living in and around the town, including collecting their shopping and prescriptions, and being a listening ear over the phone.
A £1,000 grant has also been awarded to the Green Lane Neighbourhood Watch, whose members are undertaking similar tasks for people living in Marr and its surrounding rural villages.
Doncaster Councillor Cynthia Ransome, chair of the Marr wind farm funding committee, says: “We are happy to relax the eligibility criteria for the Fund to give immediate assistance where it is most needed in this time of crisis.”
Banks Renewables’ Marr wind farm will generate more than £225,000 of local community funding over its 25-year lifespan and has been operational since 2012.
It generated over 19,000 MWh of green electricity last year, which is enough to meet the annual energy requirements of around 6,200 homes, and by doing so, displaced almost 4,900 tonnes of carbon dioxide from the electricity supply network.
Lewis Stokes, community relations manager at The Banks Group, adds: “The Marr fund is designed to bring direct, long-term benefits to local communities, and in this unparalleled time of need, we felt it only right to step up and do as much as we can to offer support to the local community where it’s most needed.
“These groups are all doing tremendous work in supporting the most vulnerable members of their communities.
“We’re proud to be able to contribute towards what they are achieving, as well as grateful to the local funding panel members for their speedy and thoughtful response to the current situation.