ANOTHER £27,650 has been generated for local groups from thin air.
The Berry Burn Community Fund (BBCF) announced ten new offers of funding, totalling £67,600, spread across the designated areas, including seven in-and-around Forres.
BBCF chairman Eddie Tomkinson is one of the eleven volunteer assessors who live and work in the wind farm’s operational boundary, taking in the community council areas of Forres, East Nairnshire, Grantown-on-Spey, Cromdale and Advie, Speyside, Heldon, Findhorn and Kinloss, Finderne and Dyke Landward.
He said: “We are again delighted to be able to help local causes and projects, although in this particular round, grants have mainly been awarded to projects outwith the immediate Forres area.
“All applications are considered against the standards set out in the application form’s general conditions, and projects do have to be prioritised when demand exceeds the funds available.”
Vice chairman David Houldsworth pointed out that more applications are regularly received than are able to be funded.
He said: “We make a judgement call on each application giving full and fair consideration.
“We take care to ensure the money awarded is spent in accord with the application made and each project is followed through to completion.”
The local awards made in the latest round were: Alves Village Hall – £15,000 to upgrade toilet and kitchen facilities; Forres Area Soccer 7s – £4000 for a trip to Vienenburg; Forres Youth and Families Outreach – £4,000 to continue an outreach programme; Team Munro Harris – £2,700 to contribute to competition costs; Dava Way Association – £800 for equipment for path improvements; Findhorn and Kinloss Community Council – £650 for a defibrillator; Thomas Bell – £500 for golfing equipment.
The Community Fund receives an index-linked annual budget of £174,000 from international renewables company Statkraft, whose 29-turbine Berry Burn wind farm lies between Forres and Grantown-on-Spey. The Fund was formally launched in August 2014 to run for 25 years and benefit local communities.
All details and an application form can be found online at www.berryburncommunityfund.co.uk.
The closing date for the next round of funding is May 22, with decisions due to be made on June 26.