Media Release: Local groups urged to apply for support, thanks to funding ‘windfall’

LOCAL organisations are being urged to apply for funding support from The Blacklaw Windfarm Community Benefit Fund before 3rd June 2011 and receive invaluable help.

Funding of up to £30,000 is available to projects providing they are based within the Shotts, Allanton, Bonkle and Hartwood areas of North Lanarkshire or the immediate surrounding areas.

The Blacklaw Windfarm Community Benefit Fund can support projects which encourage the more efficient use of energy or provide, maintain or improve a public park or other community facility for leisure or recreational purposes.

Projects which reduce fuel poverty or protect or improve the conservation of identified Biodiversity Action Plan species or habitats can also apply for funding support, as can projects which aim to maintain, repair or restore a place of religious worship or a building or structure that has architectural or historical significance.

Applicants can apply to the Blacklaw Windfarm Community Benefit Fund for 100 per cent of the project costs and do not need project match funding.  The funding will be distributed to projects through the Environmental Key Fund (EKF), an independent grants management organisation.

Windfarm Community Benefit Funds arise as a result of a voluntary contributions paid by a developer to benefit communities living in and around new windfarms.

As a result of the development of Blacklaw Windfarm on the boundary of North and South Lanarkshire and West Lothian, ScottishPower Renewables (UK) Limited currently make a relatively small Community Benefit Contribution to North Lanarkshire Council.

However, it is anticipated that these contributions will grow significantly in future years due to the proposed extension of the windfarm from 2012.

Funding is also available to any not-for-profit organisation based in North Lanarkshire through the Environmental Key Fund and in the past few years a wide range of local projects including churches and children’s playgroups have received around £900,000 in total from the fund, while an additional £240,000 has been gifted to community and environmental projects.

Applications to this quarter’s EKF Main Grants Programme, which can provide grants of up to £30,000 to a variety of initiatives, including those which improve a park or other amenity for leisure or recreational purposes, must also be received by 3rd June 2011.

Councillor Harry Curran, chair of the Environmental Key Fund, said: “We would urge all eligible organisations based in the Shotts, Allanton, Bonkle and Hartwood areas of North Lanarkshire to apply for funding from the Blacklaw Windfarm Community Benefit Fund as soon as possible to be in with a chance of receiving this support.

“Further funding is also now available to local groups through the Environmental Key Fund’s Main Grants Programme and we hope even more projects and organisations based in the area will take advantage of the great opportunities this funding can provide.”

For further information on the Environmental Key Fund and the Blacklaw Windfarm Community Benefit Fund please call 01698 302446, e-mail or visit:

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Issued by The BIG Partnership on behalf of The Environmental Key Fund.

For further information contact Kevin Macnaught on 0141 333 9585 or

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Contact: Kevin Macnaught
Phone: 0141 333 9585