Projects see windfarm windfall

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Local community projects in Barrhill, Pinwherry & Pinmore and Girvan & District have benefitted from £300,000 worth of funding from ScottishPower Renewables since the start of 2016.

The latest rounds of funding will contribute towards a range of local initiatives including the £1 million refurbishment of Barrhill’s community hall. It will also supplement household winter fuel bills for local residents and plans are in development to boost local energy-saving measures. Last year, ScottishPower Renewables funds enabled Barrhill Community Interest Company to develop a new £220,000 play park for families in Barrhill. A ‘party in the park’ and fireworks night will be hosted by locals later this year.

In Girvan, a total of £350,000 of ScottishPower Renewables funding has been committed by Girvan & District Community Council and Carrick Futures to support the new swimming pool and sports facilities due to open in spring 2017.

Construction work on the new leisure development is due to start at the end of this month. The development will feature a 25 metre swimming pool, fitness suite, cafe, multi-purpose studio/ community space and a soft play area.

Another of the projects supported by windfarm funding allocated by Carrick Features is the Adventure Centre for Education (ACE), an adventure sports group that provides children with the opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors. With activities ranging from canoeing to abseiling, ACE uses outdoor adventure to engage with children and young people to build confidence and develop life skills. The project also provides apprenticeship and work experience opportunities for those looking to pursue a career in the community-based sector. More than £10,000 of funding awarded to the project by Carrick Futures has allowed ACE to invest in new equipment, and since 2011 over £70,000 has been awarded to local primary schools to allow pupils to take part in outdoor activities run by the centre.

In Pinwherry and Pinmore, the local community is set to benefit from the construction of the new 2 Pins Centre. Partially funded by ScottishPower Renewables community benefit, the proposed 2 Pins Centre will have a large hall, community rooms, shop, cafe, heritage display space and craft display area. There will also be parking, overnight caravan spaces and a children’s play area. Architectural plans have already been drawn up and the project is under consultation.

To date, ScottishPower Renewables has provided over £16 million in community benefit funds in its areas of operation across the UK. In South Ayrshire, funding for local communities is set to increase further with funds from Glen App windfarm, which was granted consent for development last year.

Keith Anderson, Chief Executive of ScottishPower Renewables, said: “Having local support for our windfarms is extremely important to us. Community benefit funding is one of the ways we can say thank you for that support. It’s incredible to see the projects funded in South Ayrshire come to fruition and we look forward to this round of funding benefiting local people too.”

Philip Porter, Vice-chair of the Barrhill Community Interest Company, said: “There’s a huge amount happening in South Ayrshire to be proud of. From the opening of Barhill’s new playpark to the construction of Girvan’s leisure facilities, there’s a lot of investment in local services. The Barrhill community is extremely grateful for the support received from ScottishPower Renewables. We couldn’t have got so many projects off the ground without this funding.”