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180 projects benefit from windfarm cash

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By Abbey Morton
180 projects benefit from windfarm cash

OVER half a million pounds has been invested in community groups and small charities in a windfarm benefit company’s first year.

In just 12 months of grant making the Annan and Nithsdale Community Benefit Company (ANCBC) handed out over £581,000 across the area.

The fund, which comes from the ScottishPower Renewables Harestanes Windfarm, was established to benefit causes across Annandale and Nithsdale.

A total of 35 projects have been supported, including the upgrade of village halls, support for local music festivals, family fun days, community transport schemes and the lifeboat service.

Mossburn Community Farm received an award of almost £50,000 to deliver a three-year project providing equine therapies for people living with mental and physical disabilities.

Meanwhile, the community-owned nature reserves in Lochmaben and Moffat have a green futures thanks to a grant to help support the post of project development officer.

With the post secured, Darren Flint has been able to implement a range of improvements and well as delivering a host of community events.

ANCBC chairman Martin Brown, of Beattock, said “ANCBC is the first known instance of this number of community councils empowering themselves to form a company and distribute community benefit funds from a developer; in this instance ScottishPower Renewables.

“I would wish to thank my fellow directors for the significant amount of work that has gone into the set-up of the company and the first year’s successful grant making. It is estimated that 180 projects have been befitted from this initiative.”

One of the most notable awards made has been to Moat Brae House, in Dumfries, the one-time home of Peter Pan author JM Barrie.

Their award will contribute to the costs to secure and restore the house. In addition to the main grants programme, £186,000 was allocated to the community councils in the area of benefit, to allow them to support grassroots projects and good causes.

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