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£5.5m funding offer for Star landmark

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By Abbey Morton
Annan and Eskdale
£5.5m funding offer for Star landmark

A TOWERING landmark on the border could soon be a reality, after £5.5 million was promised to bridge the funding gap.

The glistening Star of Caledonia, planned for Gretna, already has £1.5m secured from the Borderlands Growth Deal.

But windfarm firm Community Windpower has offered to foot the bill for the remainder of the £7m project – if they get planning permission for three new schemes in the region.

Gretna Landmark Trust hopes the funding opportunity will be embraced by the region and trust chairman Alastair Houston acknowledged that the funding offer was key to the project becoming a reality.

Planning permission for the sculpture, which was designed in collaboration between the late Charles Jencks and Cecil Balmond, runs out in March 2022.

Mr Houston said: “The funding from Community Windpower is such a welcome contribution to this exciting project and is very much appreciated by everyone associated with the Star of Caledonia.

“We need to look to the future with hope and ambition and our Star promotes that important message within a wider regeneration project.

“Having Community Windpower support the project provides perfect synergy to our aims and will act as a signal of growth and recovery across the region.

“The Star will be highly visible from as far south as Carlisle and will be a 365 day a year statement of Scotland’s innovation, creativity, energy and ambition.”

Managing director of Community Windpower Rod Wood said the sculpture will be a ‘fantastic asset’ to the area, and will potentially be a part of a wider catalyst for regional regeneration.

He said: “The £5.5m of funding will be made available alongside our three major renewable energy projects in the region, Sanquhar II, Scoop Hill and Faw Side Community Wind Farms.

“This capital, generated from these three projects, will be just the start of long-term inward investment to the region including electric charging infrastructure for electric vehicles and green hydrogen.”

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