Moray communities net a £90k windfall from turbines

They may not attract universal popularity but the growth of wind turbines on the Moray landscape has put a few smiles on faces this week.

That has come from a round of funding awards to community groups courtesy of the Berry Burn Community Fund, set up last year to provide annual funding of over £150,000 for projects that “benefit and strengthen the community”.

The 29-turbine wind farm to the south of Forres has been operational since May 2014 and according to estimates is capable of providing sufficient electricity to meet the needs of 43,000 homes.

Part of the agreement in establishing the wind farm was the creation of a community fund that would see cash assistance for community projects in Moray and the Highlands. This has resulted this week in the announcement that several such projects are to receive a total of £90,000.

These include Piping at Forres, who recently revealed that they had secured the European Pipe Band championships for a further three years. The event organisers will receive a cash boost of £20,000 from the fund.

Also included in the funding round is the Dallas Community Development Trust, who will be able to purchase new playground equipment with the £18,000 they have been granted, while new fencing will be put in place around Forres Golf Club courtesy of their £21,000 grant.

Other beneficiaries include Forres in Bloom, Forres Christmas Lights, the Moray Way and Grantown Playgroup.

Fund chairman Eddie Tomkinson said: “We believe that the projects which we have decided to back this time round clearly demonstrate our commitment to helping people who are actively improving the community.”

Communities that can benefit from the fund are those in the community council areas for Forres, East Nairnshire, Cromdale, Advie, Grantown, Speyside, Heldon, Findhorn and Kinloss, Dyke and Finderne.

Anyone in these areas seeking to apply for the next round of grants are required to register before April 20. Application details can be found online.

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