Access to the benefits fund linked to a Doncaster wind farm is being widened to help give more local charities and community groups the chance to apply for much-needed grants.
As part of Banks Renewables’ development of the Marr Wind Farm, which sits to the west of Doncaster near junction 37 of the A1(M), a community benefits fund was set up to provide more than £200,000 of funding for local good causes over the scheme’s 25-year lifespan.
The four-turbine wind farm has generated over £108,000 for the fund over the last 11 years, with grants totalling more than £63,000 being awarded to over 30 recipients so far.
Banks Renewables awards grants from the fund with the advice of a panel of local community representatives, and has previously agreed to ring-fence support for projects within Barnburgh, Brodsworth, Cadeby, Hickleton, High Melton, Hooton Pagnell, Marr and Sprotbrough & Cusworth.
But now, the Marr Wind Farm funding panel has chosen to also accept grant applications from projects based in Adwick upon Dearne, and has also agreed to increase the maximum grant amount to £5,000.
The fund is primarily designed to assist with specific capital purchases, but applications will now also be considered for helping to cover organisations’ running costs.
Organisations and projects that have previously received grants from the Marr fund include St Peter’s Church in Barnburgh, Hickleton Parish Council, All Saints Church in Hooton Pagnell, the play area in Marr, and the Green Lane Action Committee.
Cllr Cynthia Ransome of Doncaster City Council, who chairs the community fund panel, says: “Banks has been a constant source of funding over the last 11 years for helping our rural villagers to obtain grants which have greatly improved their lifestyle and local environment.”
The Marr Wind Farm generated over 18,100 MWh of green electricity during Banks Renewables’ last financial year, which is enough to meet the annual energy requirements of more than 5,000 homes.
Jamilah Hassan, community relations manager at the Banks Group, adds: “The Marr fund was designed to bring tangible, long-term benefits to local communities and we’ve been able to support some fantastic community projects that will enhance the facilities and opportunities available to local people for many years to come.
“Extending its reach will increase the local impact that it has and we would very much encourage community groups and good causes across all the eligible areas to put their ideas forward for how this funding might best be used.”
Projects, community groups, or voluntary organisations looking for funding from the Marr Wind Farm Fund should contact the Banks Community Fund on 0191 378 6342 or visit www.banksgroup.co.uk/development-with-care/bankscommunityfund