Muirhall Energy has pledged to provide much needed funding for a new swimming pool and leisure facility in Lockerbie and for Lockerbie Old School Community Hub, should the wind farm be constructed.
Located 4km northeast of Corrie, the proposed wind farm comprises 15 turbines, each with a generating capacity of 3.2MW (48MW in total) and a blade tip height of 130m.
In addition to a substantial community benefit package of £240,000 per annum (£5,000 per MW), to be shared by local communities, a number of community groups are also exploring the opportunity of owning a share in the project.
As part of the Community Benefit Package a Memorandum of Understanding has been signed with Lockerbie Swimming Pool and Leisure Centre Trust, which is looking to build, own and operate a facility including a swimming pool and leisure services. This aims to serve Mid- and Upper Annandale, from Ecclefechan in the south to Moffat in the north and Lochmaben in the west to Langholm in the east.
Should the wind farm be constructed £30,000 per annum will be paid to the Trust, amounting to £750,000 over the 25-year life-span of the project.
The same arrangement has also been agreed with The Lockerbie Old School Community Hub Group. This aims to secure the 140 year old former Dryfesdale Public School building as a community resource after it was deemed surplus to requirements by the council.
“Through our consultation with the local Community we have been greatly impressed by the work being undertaken by those looking to deliver the swimming pool and leisure facilities and the new community hub in Lockerbie. These provide facilities not only for those in the town, but in Annandale as a whole. Investing in the delivery of facilities is absolutely vital, especially in rural communities where depopulation is a major issue.
Robert McDonald, chair of the Lockerbie Swimming Pool and Leisure Centre Trust, said:
“We are delighted with this Memorandum of Understanding which brings us one step closer to delivering this lasting legacy. Discussions with Muirhall have highlighted that both projects would be looking to be up and running at roughly the same time and this gives extra weight to our business case. This is an amazingly generous offer by Muirhall Energy and will clearly bring considerable benefits to not just those in Lockerbie, but in Annandale as a whole.”
Catherine Lacey, chair of The Lockerbie Old School Community Hub Project, said:
“We have had a variety of inspired suggestions for uses for this new community facility from the local community groups and organisations that have approached us. This funding from Crossdykes Wind Farm will help turn our long-term vision into a reality.”
15th February 2016