A new multimillion-pound wind farm in Greenock is set to generate significant funding for local voluntary and community groups, thanks to a decade-long partnership agreement between Inverclyde Renewables LLP and Inverclyde Community Fund.
Inverclyde Renewables LLP, who built the development, was bought from BayWa r.e. in December 2020 by Larbert based sawmilling group James Jones & Sons Ltd, in a joint deal with London-based specialist asset manager, Gresham House Asset Management.
One of the obligations of the new wind farm is to ensure the creation of community benefits for Inverclyde residents resulting from the development.
With the wind farm now operational, ICF will receive an annual payment linked to the energy output of the farm, which is estimated to be in the region of £72,000 each year until 2031.
This significant funding is a major boost to Inverclyde’s third sector organisations and communities, with the Inverclyde Windfarm Fund set to launch on 1st March 2021.
The fund will aim to ensure a wide variety of projects receive support, with the fund managed and redistributed to local organisations by ICF.
Commenting on the new partnership, Eleanor Robertson, Chair of Inverclyde Community Fund, said:
“This is a wonderful boost following a very tough year for so many, and we are delighted to secure such a significant level of investment for our Inverclyde communities.
“Since the discussions started in early 2020, the ICF Trustees have viewed this as a fabulous opportunity to create a strong working partnership with the wind farm owners.
“We would like to thank BayWa r.e. for their initial support and both James Jones & Sons Ltd and Gresham House Asset Management for showing their commitment to giving something back to locals.
“We look forward to releasing further details of the fund and how groups and organisations will be able to apply for support for their projects.”
Inverclyde Renewables LLP owners James Jones & Sons Ltd are the UK’s largest family-owned timber processor, with annual sales over £180m.
Reflecting on the new partnership, Chair Tom Bruce-Jones said:
“We are delighted to partner with Inverclyde Community Fund and see this as the start of a long and successful partnership.
"We have a very strong ethos of supporting all the local communities where we operate, and this investment into Inverclyde should make a significant impact locally, and we look forward to following the ICF’s proposed projects and their progress.
“As a company, we are very committed to enhancing our carbon-negative credentials, and this investment is another powerful realisation of that strategy.“
Wayne Cranstone, Investment Director at Gresham House Asset Management added:
“We are delighted to be working with James Jones & Sons Ltd and supporting the development of this wind farm project.
“It will provide a significant boost to Inverclyde’s economy and community, and is a positive step in building a more sustainable and greener future for the UK in line with the government’s net-zero emissions targets set out last year.”
The eight wind turbines stand 110m tall and are sited in the area around parts of Burnhead, Lurg Moor, Maukinhill Moor and Corlic Hill in Greenock.
The 24 MW wind farm will displace more than 18,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually, with the power generated from the site being bought by supermarket giants Tesco, who signed a 15-year deal towards its commitment to using 100 per cent renewable electricity by 2030.