Lochelbank wind farm fund to open

Wind farm Grants are available to communities near the wind farm

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A £500,000 fund is to open for communities close to a new wind farm that will be built in the Ochil Hills.

Lochelbank wind farm fund will pay out £20,000 a year for the next 25 years to projects in the Glenfarg and Bridge of Earn area.

Permission for the 12-turbine development was originally rejected by Perth and Kinross Council, but the decision was overturned on appeal.

The fund will be open for applications for six weeks from 29 October.

Lochelbank wind farm began generating electricity in May 2011. The 9.6MW scheme can generate enough power for about 5,300 homes, according to RWE npower renewables, who built it.

The company said the purpose of the fund was to foster "vibrant, sustainable communities". Grants are also made to projects that "enhance quality of life" and promote well-being.

Applications will be processed by the Scottish Community Foundation, a grant-making charity .

Community support

Local groups can apply for grants between £250 and £2,000 - but awards of less than £250 can be made through a "micro" grants scheme run by the two community councils in the area.

Kathryn Harries, from RWE npower renewables said: "Supporting the communities that surround our developments is an integral part of our business.

"We're delighted the Lochelbank Wind Farm Fund has been launched and we look forward to seeing how the local representatives on the advisory panel decide to spend the fund over the coming months."

The fund launches at a meeting at Glenfarg Church hall at 12:00 on Saturday.

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