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Rugby club scores big with funding from nearby wind farm

Published on 28 Mar 2024

A VITAL community rugby club has been left beaming after receiving nearly £15,000 worth of funding from an innovative renewable fund from a nearby wind farm.

Strathaven Rugby Club, with nearly 600 members, secured vital funding to upgrade its floodlights to energy-saving LEDs, significantly cutting costs amid rising energy prices. In previous years, the club has also received funding to upgrade training equipment available to coaches and players.

Founded in 1984, the club has praised OnPath Energy, formally Banks Renewables, who were able to provide funds through Kype Muir Wind Farm’s Community benefits fund. Funding from this project is directed by the Kype Muir Community Panel  (KMCP), a collective of local community councils who provide their expertise in delivering real community benefits from this project.

Vice chairman, Colin Dalgarno who has been part of the club for 32 years and a committee member for 16 years said: “Those old lights caused huge problems, most of them were broken and even if we did get them all working, it would have cost us an absolute fortune to run because it was old steel bulbs.

“The new LED lights are brilliant; they’ve reduced our running costs significantly. As they cost less than a quarter to run compared to the old ones. This means we are now able to dedicate money to training equipment and other costs around the club.

“Our experience with OnPath has been perfect, it really couldn’t have been better. The process was straightforward, and it didn’t take long at all to get the ball rolling.”

The Kype Muir Community Panel (KMCP), channels support from the Kype Muir Community Fund to various initiatives within 10km of the wind farm.

Focused on enhancing community buildings, arts, and grassroots projects, the fund prioritises efforts that bring social, economic, or environmental benefits to South Lanarkshire communities, especially in designated areas like Lesmahagow, Sandford and Upper Avondale, and others, ensuring targeted and meaningful impact.

Robin Winstanley, director of sustainability and community at OnPath Energy said: “We created the Kype Muir Community Fund and partnered with the KMCP as we wanted to help vital local organisations to maximise their services and operate at the best level possible.

“It’s clear to see that Strathaven Rugby Club is a vital organisation and its 600 members only underscores its importance to the community.

“I’m delighted to see that the new lights have made such a valuable contribution to the club, allowing them to save money and further improve their training offerings.”

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.Situated about 5km south of Strathaven, Kype Muir Wind Farm stands as a leading project for OnPath Energy, featuring 26 turbines and achieving full operational status in 2018.

OnPath Energy is nearing the final stages of completing the Kype Muir Extension, an adjacent site with 15 turbines, distinguished as hosting the tallest and most efficient onshore wind turbines in the UK.

Together, Kype Muir and its Extension are poised to provide over £770,000 annually in community benefits to the local areas.

For more information on the Kype Muir Community Fund, visit: https://www.banksgroup.co.uk/kype-muir-wind-farm-community-fund/

For more information on OnPath Energy, visit: https://www.banksgroup.co.uk/renewables/

For additional information about Strathaven Rugby Club, please visit: https://www.pitchero.com/clubs/strathavenrugbyfootballclub

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