LOCAL businesses have praised an innovative wind farm business for its plans to commit a share of their contracts to local companies in Perthshire.
Banks Renewables has announced plans to direct a significant share of the estimated £26 million construction cost of a proposed wind farm in Perthshire to local companies.
Business owners in the area have welcomed the news, saying it will provide some much needed investment and employment opportunities.
The Hamilton based company is awaiting a decision on its planning application to construct a 20MW, six-turbine wind farm on the Bandirran estate near Balbeggie.
The company has pledged to agree a guaranteed level of direct investment through local firms during the construction of the wind farm, should they get the go ahead, which would allow for major reinvestment and bring prosperity to the surrounding communities.
It is expected that around £4 million of direct contracts will be available to local firms during the construction of the wind farm, should they be approved, for services such as construction and maintenance, accommodation, catering, cleaning, waste solution and fencing.
Jim Drummond, who runs Drummond Fencing in Dunkeld, is one of the business owners welcoming the proposed investment by Banks Renewables.
He said: “The community in Dunkeld has already been fortunate enough to receive long-term investment from a previous wind project.
“It’s good to see Banks Renewables is showing a similar commitment to putting money back into the community, which can only be positive for the area.
“We’ve worked on other wind farms in the past and we quite often get called in by environmental groups to fence off wildlife for projects like this. It’s very welcome business for us and I hope to see some similar opportunities arise from the Bandirran wind farm.”
Sean Mills, director of Mills Contracts Ltd, a groundworks and haulage specialist based in Stanley, said: “This sort of work has an extremely positive effect on the local economy and is absolutely vital in terms of employment.
“We’ll be hoping to help Banks with getting materials in and out for service tracks and roads. We’ve got 24 employees here and this kind of business is vital to not only maintain these staffing levels but also to grow the business and hopefully create more job opportunities for other local people.”
Chic Kippen employs 14 staff at his plant hire and construction firm, Chic Kippen & Son, in Stanley. He said: “The construction industry in the area has come to a standstill in recent years so this type of project is absolutely essential for the local economy.
“We do a lot of work on wind farms and depend on the business it generates. I am in full support of the Bandirran project and the commitment Banks have made to use local contractors is fantastic news for the area.”
SUPPORTING LOCAL COMMUNITIES
Colin Anderson, development director at Banks Renewables, said: “The feedback we’ve had from local businesses so far has been fantastic and we appreciate more than ever the need to support local businesses during the current economic challenges.
“It’s for these reasons, as well as our wider commitment to supporting local communities, that Banks Renewables has decided to make a very clear commitment to using local contractors and businesses and agreeing a guaranteed level of direct economic investment into the area when we build our wind farms.”
Banks Renewables has extensive experience of working in partnership with local communities across Scotland and the United Kingdom to deliver a range of local economic, social and environmental benefits, tailored to each individual community’s needs.
It also successfully designs and develops new energy schemes while working closely with communities in partnership.
If you’re a local business and keen to be included in the tendering process then please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and leave your contact information, a short description about what your company does and one of our project team will be in touch shortly.
Banks Renewables is part of the Banks Group (www.banksgroup.co.uk), a family firm founded in 1976, which now employs over 400 people in the renewable energy, property and mining sectors.
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