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Beck Burn wind farm contributes over £1m to local community projects

Beck Burn wind farm contributes over £1m to local community projects

The Beck Burn wind farm, situated between Longtown and Gretna in Cumbria, has been giving back to the local community that it serves. 

The facility, which consists of nine turbines, has the capacity to power 18,000 homes, but that isn’t the only benefit the site is bringing to the local community. That’s because, as agreed in the operational terms, EDF Renewables UK, the operator of the wind farm, commits an annual sum of £155,250 to support local initiatives within a 10km radius. 

This funding, managed by Cumbria Community Foundation, recently reached a landmark after a £10,300 grant to Springfield & Gretna Green Community Asset Trust for window replacements at Stormont Hall in Gretna Green. That pushed the total contribution made by EDF Renewables UK to over £1 million. 

Simon Ling, Asset Manager for Beck Burn Wind Farm, expressed satisfaction with the milestone, stating, “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.”

Among the major recipients is Raydale Community Partnership, which has benefited from £85,000 in grants since 2018. The funds have been allocated towards developing sports and leisure facilities including a 3G sports pitch and new changing rooms. 

Stuart Rome, Facilities Manager at Raydale Community Partnership, noted, “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.”

Additionally, Longtown Memorial Hall and Community Centre in Cumbria has been awarded £48,000 to revitalise its reception area and add a community café. 

Steph Graham, the Centre Manager, shared plans for the space, stating, “Our reception area hasn’t been touched for around 40 years. With this grant, we’re going to open it up to make it much more welcoming with a community café and a seated area so people can come in, meet their friends and make use of the free wi-fi.”

The community fund prioritises environmental, educational, sporting, or community-related projects led by volunteers or community groups. It typically awards grants ranging from £1,000 to £20,000, possibly extending over multiple years.

A portion of the fund is specifically earmarked for educational and training grants for individuals over 16 from the surrounding parishes.

Lisa Blackwell, Grants and Programmes Officer at Cumbria Community Foundation, highlighted the impact of the fund, commenting, “This fund provides a valuable, long-term, sustainable and reliable source of income for local communities.”

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