Published: 22/11/2017 08:55 - Updated: 21/11/2017 16:00

Another £60,000 generated for local groups and projects

Berry BurnANOTHER £60,000 is blowing local groups’ way thanks to natural energy.

The Berry Burn Community Fund has approved grants totalling £56,691.00 in its latest round of funding, helping to finance eight projects spread across the area.

A Berry Burn wind farm spokesman confirmed: “The applications received were for more than three times the funds available, so, sadly, it was not possible to help everyone, no matter how worthy the cause.”

The fund’s operational boundary takes in the community council areas for Nairnshire, Grantown-on-Spey, Cromdale and Advie, Speyside, Heldon, Findhorn and Finderne and Dyke Landward.

The 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 annual budget is spread over three awards rounds, with funding of £58,000 available for each.

The local awards made in the latest round were: Ray’s Opportunities - £13,992 to provide training and support for people with physical, hidden and learning difficulties; Forres Christmas Lights - £3,325 to assist with maintaining and erecting/removing the Christmas lights and Christmas tree in Forres town centre; Riding for the Disabled, Forres - £7,134 to provide suitable ponies for therapeutic riding sessions and qualified RDA instructors for a year; Forres Fire and Circus Group - £5,000 to purchase equipment, rehearsal space and teachers for open group for performing arts, circus and fire; Findhorn Bay Arts - £7,500 to assist with venue hire, printing and marketing costs for the festival in 2018; Kinloss Crafty Cool Kids Club - £6,000 to improve and develop the child care facility.

Strathspey Camanachd also received £4,920 to purchase new goals and nets for the senior men’s team, and to help with the ongoing cost of pitch and changing room hire.

Grantown Playgroup also got £8,820 to provide challenging and imaginative play equipment for 2-5-year-olds.

Fund chairman, Eddie Tomkinson, who has held office since its inauguration in August 2, 2014, will be stepping down in January at the Fund’s AGM having completed the maximum number of years permitted under the fund’s constitution.

In that time, Statkraft has granted £678,403.24 of which £640,837.26 has been awarded to a wide variety of projects throughout the area.

The closing date for the next round is January 22, with decisions due to be made on February 2.

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