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£155,000 available for community projects in Borders area

[C]haritable community groups and individuals in the Borders area are being encouraged to apply for financial support from a new community benefit fund.

Established by EDF Energy Renewables, the Beck Burn Windfarm Community Fund has £155,250 grant aid to distribute every year for the next twenty-five years.

Projects and people in the Cumbrian Parishes of Rockcliffe, Westlinton, Arthuret and Kirkandrews on Esk, along with the Scottish Community Councils of Springfield & Gretna Green, Gretna & Rigg, Kirkpatrick Fleming & District, and Canonbie & District are eligible to apply for funding.

The fund is being managed on behalf of EDF Energy Renewables by Cumbria Community Foundation, and will be split into three elements:

A large grants pot of £84,200 for grants between £1,000 and £20,000 (larger grants over multiple years will also be considered).  The priority for this money is projects within a 5k radius of the wind farm, projects within a 10k radius may also apply but must show benefit to those within the 5k area.

£40,000 will be split between the eight local Parish/Community Councils each receiving £5k to spend within their Parish/Community Council boundary on small grants of up to £1,000 each (this covers Kirkandrews, Arthuret, Westlinton, Rockcliffe, Springfield & Gretna Green, Gretna & Rigg, Kirkpatrick & District and Canonbie & District)

20% of the fund, totalling £31,050, will be ring-fenced for Education and Training, we will be launching a bursary scheme in the area around the wind farm to help with costs of travel, equipment and training for students of all ages.

The fund is intended to support a wide range of activities with awards to community and voluntary organisations and projects which are community based or community led.  Activities would include supporting biodiversity and habitat conservation, energy efficiency and sustainability, sports and recreation, health and wellbeing, children, young people and older people, culture and heritage.

The deadline for the first round of applications is 12th May 2017.

Nick Bradford, Head of Asset Management for EDF Energy Renewables said, “,“We want to see as many local people as possible benefitting from the fund and would encourage groups to apply for this money. Around each of our 32 wind farm sites across the UK, we see the difference it can make from heating church halls to providing new musical instruments to a brass band.

Nigel Pattison, Grants and Donor Services Officer at Cumbria Community Foundation, said “We are delighted to be able to support the Parish and Community Councils within the Beck Burn Windfarm’s area of benefit, enabling vital community projects to be developed and local people to benefit enormously.”

Full guidance and link to the online application can be accessed via Cumbria Community Foundation’s website www.cumbriafoundation.org or by contacting Nigel Pattison on 01900 825760.

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