Community groups who are based within ten kilometres of the An Suidhe Wind Farm near Inveraray are being invited to apply for a slice of a £28,500 grant fund.
The An Suidhe Wind Farm Community Fund aims to benefit the communities of Inveraray, Furnace, Eredine and Dalavich and their surrounding areas –providing they are within the 10k radius - and is open for applications until November 7 2011.
For the next 25 years, wind farm operator RWE npower renewables will award £28,500 annually, rising in line with inflation, to the An Suidhe Wind Farm Community Fund. The fund’s purpose is to support activities which will enhance quality of life and promote people’s well-being, bring people together and foster vibrant, sustainable communities.
Councillor Bruce Marshall, Argyll and Bute’s environment spokesperson, urged eligible communities to make the most of the opportunity.
“This fund has the potential to make a significant and lasting impact on the communities it covers, and the chance to secure a share of it is one which should not be missed,” he said.
“We have always said that the renewable energy sector has the potential to transform our economy and our communities, particularly in some of our more rural areas, and this is an example of the sort of benefits which it can bring.
“My experience on both the Cruach Mhor Trust in Glendaruel and Clachan Flats Trust at Cairndow has allowed me to see how much these grants are appreciated by the communities and the benefits derived. I would encourage all those who are eligible to apply and who have a suitable project in mind to apply before the deadline. ”
The Scottish Community Foundation, a grant-making charity, will process applications from constituted community groups, not-for-profit organisations and registered charities.
An advisory panel made up of local residents and representatives from the areas will meet regularly each year to make decisions.
Applications for grants of up to between £250- £7,000 are being invited. Additionally, smaller awards of less than £250 can be made through a ‘micro’ grants scheme administered by each of the community councils serving the area.
Nick Addington, grants director at the Scottish Community Foundation, said: “We’re delighted to be able to accept applications to the An Suidhe Wind Farm Community Fund and would encourage local groups to apply. Grants of up to £7,000 will be available, but groups must apply ahead of the 7th November deadline.”
Kathryn Harries, UK Community Investment Officer at RWE npower renewables added: “Supporting the communities that surround our developments is an integral part of our business. We’re delighted the An Suidhe Wind Farm Fund has been launched and we look forward to seeing how the local representatives on the advisory panel decide to spend the fund over the coming months.”