The Heysham South Wind Farm
The Heysham South Wind Farm

Local charities and community groups are being urged to apply for grants from the benefits fund linked to a north Lancashire wind farm.

As part of the development of the Heysham South Wind Farm, Banks Renewables set up a fund to provide grants for projects put forward by voluntary groups and charities based in the surrounding area.

The three-turbine wind farm has generated more than £134,000 for the fund since it came online in 2015, with grants totalling £62,000 being awarded to 18 local good causes so far.

But with a further £72,000 currently available to applicants, Banks Renewables is looking to increase the number of local ideas being put forward for how the money might best be used.

The fund is ring-fenced to support projects within the parishes of Heaton-with-Oxcliffe, Heysham, Middleton and Overton, although projects outside of these areas may be eligible if it can be shown that they benefit local people from these core areas.

Grants are awarded in line with the advice of an independent committee of local community representatives which meets every few months to consider applications.

Previous grant recipients include The Bay Foodbank, Heysham Jubilee Institute, Heaton-with-Oxcliffe Parish Council, Heysham Neighbourhood Council, the 1st Overton Scout Group, and Heysham Mossgate Community and Sports Centre.

A further £11,300 of the wind farm’s annual revenues is due to be contributed to the fund every year for the next 17 years, which will take the overall amount that goes into it past £300,000.

“I’m sure there are lots of groups across the area that could make good use of this funding and we’d love to see more grant applications coming in.”

Peter Whaley, chair of the Heysham South Wind Farm committee liaison committee, who has been involved with the project since its inception, says: “The turbines have become part of the area’s everyday landscape, and it’s important for us to keep reminding local groups, charities and good causes that there’s grant funding available that they can apply for any time they want.

“It’s a fairly straightforward application process, and having worked with a number of groups that have seen their projects make successful applications to the fund, I’m happy to provide some advice on how to do so to any others that might want it.

“I’m sure there are lots of groups across the area that could make good use of this funding and we’d love to see more grant applications coming in.”

The Heysham South Wind Farm generated just over 20,000 MWh of clean, green electricity during Banks Renewables’ last financial year, which is enough to meet the average annual requirements of around 6,500 homes.

By doing so, the wind farm has displaced the equivalent annual carbon dioxide emissions of more than 1,800 petrol cars from the electricity supply network.

Jamilah Hassan, community relations manager at The Banks Group, says: “The positive impact that the Heysham South Wind Farm benefits fund has had can be seen clearly right across the area, but we know there will be many more good ideas out there across local communities that could be made possible with the money we have available.

“With grants for grass roots projects often difficult to find in the current climate, we’re strongly encouraging as many local community groups and good causes as possible to investigate how they might use some of the revenues generated at Heysham South.

“Generating as much of the electricity that we all use via renewable means is a crucial part of the UK’s journey towards its Net Zero targets and will enable the country to decarbonise its power supply, improve its energy security and achieve its climate change targets more quickly than would otherwise be possible.”

Community groups, or voluntary organisations in the vicinity of the Heysham South Wind Farm which are looking for a grant of up to £3,000 should contact the Fund Manager on 0191 378 6342 for further information or visit