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Renewables firm adds £195k to local community pot in 2023

Published on 29 Feb 2024

A SOUTH LANARKSHIRE community fund has been topped up by hundreds of thousands of pounds in 2023 alone from benefits generated by a nearby wind farm.

Last year, OnPath Energy, formerly known as Banks Renewables paid a total of £194,920 into the Kype Muir Community Partnership (KMCP) – a fund which was set up by the developer to distribute community benefits generated from its Kype Muir Wind Farm, to the local area.

From the £195k pledged to the KMCP fund, £95,000 of that has already been distributed to local community groups and nearby initiatives across 2023.

The KMCP fund was set up in 2018 and has since represented a range of communities within 10km of Kype Muir Wind Farm, which lies near Strathaven in South Lanarkshire.

Robin Winstanley, energy, sustainability and community director with Hamilton-based OnPath Energy said: “It’s been great to see the fund support such a diverse range of community needs over the past year and to be generating such a vast amount of funding in 2023 alone is extremely pleasing to see.

“From improving facilities and spaces to backing meaningful arts and environmental programs, the funded projects are all hugely important parts of the South Lanarkshire community. This flexibility in the funding is what makes the fund so valuable.”

In 2023, a £45,000 KMCP grant helped Sandford Village Hall improve disability and access issues, a £3,860 KMCP grant supported Lesmahagow Highland Games and a £19,500 KMCP grant enabled Climate Action Strathaven to improve transport links for its community bus service.

An independent panel agrees on how the fund supports a wide range of community needs, from community buildings and local art installations to helping to drive local grassroots projects to deliver social, economic and environmental benefits near the wind farm.

Priority is given to support projects in the Community Council areas of Lesmahagow, Sandford and Upper Avondale, Stonehouse, Strathaven & Glassford and Blackwood, Kirkmuirhill and Boghead.

The fund is part of the Connect2Renewables initiative, in which the firm commits to maximising the economic, social, and environmental benefits of all its wind farms in South Lanarkshire.

Robin added: “Enabling communities to shape their own priorities is key. The independent panel oversees a process to ensure the fund can empower real grassroots action and a community-first approach.

“Renewable developments have the potential to be about much more than renewable energy, but the fundamentals remain that onshore wind is making hugely positive impacts on the health of our planet. Kype Muir Wind Farm is a brilliant example of a project doing exactly that, benefitting the planet and the local community at the same time.”

Kype Muir Wind Farm, located approximately 5km south of the town of Strathaven, is a flagship development for OnPath Energy. Consisting of 26 turbines, the site has been fully operational since 2018.

OnPath Energy is also close to the completion of Kype Muir Extension, a neighbouring 15-turbine site which features the UK’s tallest and most efficient onshore wind turbines.

Kype Muir and Kype Muir Extension are set to deliver community benefits equating to more than £770,000 each year made available to surrounding communities.

OnPath Energy is the new name for Banks Renewables. OnPath Energy is currently building a new website as part of the re-brand process. Until the new website is ready all project information and news will remain at www.banksgroup.co.uk/renewables.

For more information on the Kype Muir Community Fund, visit: https://sonpathlegacy.wpenginepowered.com/kype-muir-wind-farm-community-fund/

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