We are in the process of forming a steering group of local people from Bavington, Birtley, Corsenside, Elsdon and Kirkwhelpington. Working alongside Vattenfall, the role of this group will be to develop a vision for the community fund, drawing on the findings of the consultation, and to establish appropriate governance to manage the fund once it opens in early 2017. It is envisaged that the steering group will be made up with members ideally from each of the parishes in the immediate areas around the wind farm: Bavington, Birtley, Corsenside, Elsdon and Kirkwhelpington. Anyone from these five parishes, interested in joining the steering group can find out more from the Community Action Northumberland website here. Anyone wanting to get in touch about the Ray Wind Farm Community Fund can do so by emailing Julia Plinston from Community Action Northumberland: firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling her on 01670 517178.
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The local community will benefit from community funding that will run throughout the lifetime of the wind farm, brining over £250,000 of investment to the area annually.
A new Community Interest Company is being established which will run the fund. Following a review of the findings of the consultation with the local community carried out by Community Action Northumberland, Ray Wind Farm Community Fund Community Profile Report, the priorities for the Fund have been established, with three key strands to its work:
A charitable grants scheme – the Vattenfall Ray Wind Farm Small Grants Programme. Click here for further information
The improvement of infrastructure to support the social and economic sustainability of the area – such as internet, mobile phone coverage and community transport.
A legacy fund to maintain the benefit to the area long after the support from the Wind Farm operator has ceased.