Key funding from the community fund linked to Banks Renewables Kype Muir wind farm has enabled a local community group to purchase much needed staging equipment for a South Lanarkshire based children’s musical theatre group.
The Acting Bairns of Stonehouse (TABS) has been awarded £6,000 for brand new staging equipment, which will replace the current stage which is 20 years old.
TABS is a registered children’s charity musical theatre group, based in Stonehouse and has been active for more than 20 years and operates solely on voluntary help.
All applications to the Kype Muir community fund grants are determined by the Kype Muir Community Panel (KMCP), which has representatives from local community councils and the wind farm operators, Banks Renewables.
Nicola Alder, a volunteer with TABS, is hoping the new equipment will be in place by the time rehearsals resume, once lockdown restrictions are lifted.
She said: “The funding has been used to purchase essential new staging equipment for TABS. Our old stage had been with us for so long, and was getting to the point where it was a health and safety risk.
“The new stage will not only ensure the kids are safe when rehearsing, but also give us more space to allow even more children to join future TABS productions.
“While our group will be the main users of the stage, the wider community will also benefit as the church and other groups will be able to borrow it for events like the community fashion show. We’re extremely grateful for the funding.”
The Kype Muir Community Fund provides £138,000 annually to benefit community groups within 10 kilometres of the 26-turbine development. Funding started in April 2019 when the wind farm started to generate clean, green electricity.
George Smith, who chairs the KMCP said: “The KMCP has been working closely with community councils local to Kype Muir Wind Farm to support projects that are important to each respective community.
“The purpose of the KMCP is to help the communities surrounding Kype Muir thrive. Since funding started in 2019, we’ve supported some excellent local initiatives and meaningful community projects such as The Acting Bairns of Stonehouse. We look forward to seeing the new stage in use after lockdown.”
Banks Renewables is committed to ensuring that the local communities in the area surrounding the wind farm benefit most from the fund. Its Connect2Renewables partnership with South Lanarkshire Communities is a broad pledge that also saw it commit to using local contractors throughout the construction of Kype Muir Wind Farm.
The Community Fund accounts for around a quarter of annual funding arising from the wind farm. Around half goes towards as establishing an employability and training fund, distributed by South Lanarkshire Council, with a further quarter also distributed by the council as part of the wider Renewable Energy Fund (REF).
Robin Winstanley, sustainability and external affairs manager with the Hamilton-based developer, said: “It’s so important to ensure young people have the opportunity to have access to and enjoy these creative outlets.
“We’re thrilled to have enabled the group, through a benefit of our wind farm, to replace its staging system which will hopefully see even more children participate in future productions.”
TABS is a registered children’s charity musical theatre group which aims to build the confidence and self-esteem of children aged 8-18 by allowing them to showcase their talents via two annual productions. Children are trained in different aspects of musical theatre and dance by a dedicated team of volunteers.
Banks Renewables is committed to ensuring that their projects deliver tangible and lasting social, economic and environmental benefits to the communities in which they operate.