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Western Isles community wind farm project in £1m lottery boost

The Beinn Ghrideag wind farm, owned and managed by the Point and Sandwick Development Trust, will generate £36m.

Turbine plan faces objections
STV

An island development trust will create the UK's largest community-owned wind farm following a £1m grant from the Big Lottery Fund.

The Beinn Ghrideag wind farm, owned and managed by the Point and Sandwick Development Trust (PSDT) on the Isle of Lewis, will generate more than £36m in the next 25 years thanks to an output of 9MW from their three commercial sized turbines. This makes it the largest community wind farm in the UK.

Thursday’s award of £999,718 through the Growing Community Assets scheme from the Big Lottery Fund Scotland, will part fund the initial costs of the installation of three 3MW turbines to generate renewable electricity which will be sold to the national grid.

Current plans for reinvestment were developed after a community wide consultation and include support for the only hospice on Lewis, a scheme to reduce fuel poverty for islanders and funding to offer greater help and support to young islanders with additional needs.

Chairman of the Point and Sandwick Development Trust, Donald McSween, said: "Today's funding means a quiet revolution can now take place in our community and it is wonderful news. We have a 25 year plan which will lead to a huge change for everyone who lives here. It will give us the tools to turn ourselves around.

“We will no longer have to rely on subsidies and government handouts. We will now be able to help reverse the ageing population and declining demographic which currently has a negative impact on everyone here.

"Through this project we will be able to provide jobs, training and amenities so we can give our young people more reasons to stay, live, work and prosper in the community where they were born.

“This grant means that our project can go ahead and I'd like to thank the Big Lottery Fund for their support to this point and their endorsement and belief in what we are doing here."

Big Lottery Fund Scotland director, Jackie Killeen, said; "The Big Lottery Fund is delighted to support the Point and Sandwick Development Trust as they develop this wind farm. Our Growing Community Assets funding is for exactly this kind of project where communities look at what they have and how they can take ownership of those assets to transform the lives of those who live in their local communities.

"This project is about power but not just electricity. With the development of this wind farm the Point and Sandwick Development Trust is now powerfully enabled to shape their own future and offer much needed services to those living remotely on the Isle of Lewis thanks to the revenue this wind farm will bring in the long term."

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