Grant cash up for grabs from turbine fund

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A £40,000-A-YEAR community fund, which is being made available following the start of construction at the Langhope Rig wind farm near Roberton, is now open for applications.

Community groups in Upper Teviotdale and Borthwick Water are being encouraged to apply for grants from the SSE development’s community fund – although the pot of money will be shared with fellow host community councils Lilliesleaf, Ashkirk and Midlem, and Ettrick and Yarrow.

The fund has been established for charitable and community projects within the three community council boundaries and, over the 25-year lifespan of the wind farm, it is expected that £1 million will be invested in local initiatives. All decisions will be made by an independent panel comprising members of each community, including community councillors.

Ciara Wilson, SSE community investment advisor, said: “We are delighted to announce the launch of the Langhope Rig Community Fund and look forward to helping local projects realise their ambitions.

“The purpose of the fund is to support activities that will enhance wellbeing and quality of life for local people as well as promote community spirit and bring people together. Over the lifetime of the project, the fund has the potential to provide real benefits to people in this part of the Borders and foster vibrant, sustainable communities.”

The first deadline for applications is January 17 and further information on eligibility and the application process can be found on the SSE website

In addition, the SSE Borders Sustainable Development Fund, which will be open to applications from groups in the Scottish Borders Council area, will be launched in the spring. This fund, also valued at £40,000 per annum and £1million over 25 years, is designed to bring significant community benefits to the region and will specifically support projects which promote skills development, community energy developments or improve the built and natural environment.

The 16MW, 10-turbine Langhope Rig wind farm is under construction, with the site due to be operational by late 2014.