Wind farm generates £1m in community benefits

A wind farm between Longtown and Gretna has paid more than £1m in grants to the local community, while generating electricity to power for 18,000 homes.

As part of the scheme, operator EDF Renewables UK agreed to pay £155,250 a year to community projects within a 10-kilometre radius.

Simon Ling, Asset Manager for Beck Burn Wind Farm, said:

It’s wonderful to see such a significant milestone be reached. We are thrilled to see such worthy projects receive funding to enhance the lives of those living in and around Longtown and Gretna and look forward to hearing more over the coming months.

Raydale Community Partnership is the single largest beneficiary, having received grants totalling £85,000 since 2018. The not-for-profit organisation was formed following the collapse of Gretna FC to buy back the club’s ground, Raydale Park, for use by the community.

The grants have gone towards a 3G multi-discipline sports pitch for year-round use, the creation of a fitness and leisure space and new changing rooms.

Stuart Rome, Facilities Manager at Raydale Community Partnership, said:

Gretna has lacked a safe space for children and teenagers to participate in sports. We now have more than 250 users of our facilities. We’re grateful for EDF Renewables UK’s support for the mental and physical wellbeing of our community. We couldn’t have done what we’ve done without them.

The Beck Burn Wind Farm Community Fund prioritises grants to volunteer-led or community groups within a five-kilometre radius, although groups up to 10 kilometres away can apply if they deliver benefits in the five-kilometre area.

These grants support charitable, community activities that are environmental, educational, sporting or community related. Awards are normally between £1,000 and £20,000 and can be for multiple years.

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