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Wind turbines’ £80k boost for community

By Fiona Reid
Dumfries and West
Wind turbines' £80k boost for community

A £79,000 funding boost from a wind energy project over the last three years is delivering benefits to projects in Upper Nithsdale.

The project — administered by young people at Sanquhar Academy — distributes revenue generated by two wind turbines to groups across Upper Nithsdale.

Since the scheme began in 2014, the young members of the Propel for the charitable purposes committee have awarded £79,465 to 25 groups in the area, and are already seeing positive developments.

Sanquhar Academy pupil Ethan Weir said: “I’m very proud to be involved in Propel.

“I live in Upper Nithsdale and I’ve seen how much this funding benefits not just groups but families in the community.”

He added: “It’s great to see the project having such a positive impact.

“We’re looking forward to receiving even more applications before the end of this year.”

The Propel funding scheme began with donations from Buccleuch Estates Ltd, Dumfries and Galloway Council, Scottish Mines Restoration Trust and Hargreaves Surface Mining, but is now moving towards becoming a fully self-sustaining funding stream.

The wind turbines have the potential to generate £2.5 million over the next 25 years.

To date, funding has been awarded to groups working across areas including history and heritage, music, sport, art, managing disabilities, and the environment.

Parish of Sanquhar St Bride’s Church received Propel funding earlier this year and the money is already having a positive impact on its roof replacement project.

Session clerk Duncan Close said: “We would like to say a huge thank you to Propel for its support.

“The funding has taken us through to the next stage of our roof replacement project which will enable us to bring the almost 200-year-old building back into being a fully-functioning part of the community.”

Mr Close added: “The church forms a big part of Sanquhar’s history.

“It’s the only building in the town which can accommodate in excess of 400 people, and is at the heart of the community.

“We look forward to sharing some of our facilities with the students in the years to come.

“The Glenmuckloch Community Energy Park project is fantastic for Upper Nithsdale and we wish staff and students every success.”

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