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Berry Burn community fund awards £39,800 to community projects in latest funding round

By Garry McCartney

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Berry Burn wind farm has generated more than £1million for community projects in the area to date.
Berry Burn wind farm has generated more than £1million for community projects in the area to date.

NATURAL energy has generated another £12,000 for local community groups.

Berry Burn wind farm's 21st round of awards includes £9000 for the Forres Skate Park Initiative and £2800 for the Sanquhar Dam Renovation Group, on top of £25,000 towards Rothes Way Association's multi-use path from Rothes to Craigellachie joining the Speyside Way, and £3000 to Grantown Grammar School for hire of costumes and microphones for a school show.

Chairwoman of the Berry Burn Community Fund, Dr Jana Hutt, confirmed the total figure of £39,800 brings the total contribution to operational boundary community projects to date is £1,223,081.

She said: "Covid-19 continues to have an affect on our communities, resulting in fewer applications this round.

"However, we continue to support good applications which can make real difference in our area, and congratulate the successful applicants."

She added: "We should like to mark our sadness at the death of David Houldsworth in February 2021. David was a founder member of the Berry Burn Community Fund, a past chairman and a guiding light who made a lasting contribution since the fund’s inception."

Forres Skate Park Initiative is investing their £9000 award in options appraisal, soil and land surveys, and a feasibility study for the facility.

Sanquhar Dam Renovation Group will use their £2800 towards shredding and mulching of non-native invasive species around the beauty spot.

The Community Fund receives an index-linked annual budget of £190,000 from international renewables company Statkraft, whose 29-turbine Berry Burn wind farm lies between Forres and Grantown-on-Spey. The fund is overseen by eleven volunteer members, living and working within its operational boundary. The annual budget is spread over three awards rounds each year.

The closing date for the next round is May 10, with decisions due to be made at the awards meeting for round 22 on June 14.

Details of how to apply, the application form and contact details for the administrator, can be found at www.berryburncommunityfund.co.uk

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