Seven local community projects have been boosted thanks to £20,000 in funding which has come as a result of Lancaster University’s wind turbine.
At the same time as cutting carbon emissions, the turbine is also enriching the community through the Wind Turbine Community Benefits Fund.
A diverse range of projects located in Ellel, Quernmore and Lancaster have been funded.
Benefits to local communities include improved broadband, the creation of new green spaces and safer access paths.
Three projects received the majority of the funding, two of which were submitted by Ellel Parish Council including a project to install a new multi-use path to enable pedestrian/cycle access from west Galgate to the A6 and university (which was awarded £6,800) and the other to place new PV panels on the Ellel Village Hall, which will generate renewable energy and reduce operational and hire costs (which was awarded £5912).
The other large project is looking to provide fibre optic broadband to 65 rural properties in Ellel and Scotforth.
This project will cost an estimated £70,000; the university allocated £4,000 from the fund. The other smaller projects allocated funding included: a project to teach traditional hedge-laying skills in Ellel (£500); a project to renovate a disused triangle of land in Aldcliffe Road into a communal green space (£720); the development of tennis project (£1,000) at Lancaster Tennis Club and a project to develop a new sensory garden (£1,000) at Piccadilly Garden, Scotforth.
Jonathan Mills, environment and sustainability manager at Lancaster University, said: “We are committed to sharing the savings of the turbine with our local community.
“The projects we have chosen to support reflect the Community Benefit Fund’s ethos; they will increase access to resources, support rural development and help our community to reduce its carbon emissions.”
Lancaster University is now inviting the community to apply for the second round of £20,000 funding, including those that weren’t successful in the first round.
The Community Benefits Fund has been developed to share the benefit of the wind turbine with local communities in south Lancaster area by providing grant funding for community and environmental projects.
The funding will be worth more than £400,000 over the next 20 years.
Applicants have until December 24 to submit their projects and the awards will be made in January and February 2015.
Community and voluntary groups can apply directly, or proposals could be made to parish councils, who can apply to the fund.
Application forms and guidance notes can be downloaded from Lancaster University’s Community Benefits Fund webpage at http://www.lancaster.ac.uk/sustainability/community-benefits-fund.
The university has been working to reduce its carbon emissions by implementing a range of projects including the wind turbine since the adoption of its Carbon Management Plan in 2010.
These projects have seen carbon emissions cut by 27 per cent since 2005. The wind turbine has generated over 5,000MWh of electricity over the last year, 15 per cent of the university consumption and enough to power 1,300 houses.