Local People reached out to for middle muir liaison committee - Planning PR experts

by Chris Fairbairn

Wednesday, November 9th, 2016

Two Banks Group representatives on site with Expert PR photographyPEOPLE living in the communities surrounding a new South Lanarkshire wind farm are being asked to play a crucial role assisting with the rollout of a multi-million-pound community fund – as well as communicating the progress of the site to the wider area.

As part of its commitment to ensuring that local people are involved throughout the construction and operation of Middle Muir wind farm, Hamilton based Banks Renewables will appoint a liaison committee comprised of two representatives from Douglas Community Council, two representatives from Duneaton Community Council and one member of the public from each community council area. These representatives will join representatives from Banks Renewables and South Lanarkshire Council.

The Middle Muir project, which is located two kilometres north-west of Crawfordjohn, will create a community fund of £255,000 per annum, adding up to a total of £6.37million over the life time of the wind farm project.

From November 2016, the group will meet every few months to get the latest information on the scheme and to feed back any comments or queries from local people.

Lewis Stokes, community relations manager at The Banks Group, said: “Community liaison committees provide a valuable forum for meeting with local people where we can ensure that everyone is kept up-to-date on progress with the wind farm and local people can raise any matters and ask questions about the wind farm to the project team.

“The South Lanarkshire Council-administered Renewable Energy Fund (REF) associated with this project is designed to ensure that our presence in the area has a long-lasting positive impact. The liaison committee will bring forward recommendations to the REF panel, which sets the rules and makes the final decision on the projects and new facilities that should be supported by the fund.

“Our liaison committees have proved very successful at other schemes that we have developed, and we hope to get a wide cross-section of the local community involved with this one.

“In addition to generating significant amounts of renewable energy, Middle Muir Wind Farm is also bringing a range of other benefits to the local area, from new jobs and commercial opportunities for local businesses through to funding for a range of local community improvements and skills development initiatives.”

Middle Muir Wind Farm and the neighbouring Banks Renewables development at Kype Muir Wind Farm are the projects at the heart of the Connect2Renewables initiative and are already delivering local business and contracting opportunities. Hamilton-based Raeburn Geotechnical was appointed to undertake ground investigation works last year and RJ McLeod is currently constructing the first phase of works to deliver the grid platform infrastructure at Middle Muir.

In addition to this, the first phase of the Jobs and Training initiative funds will be available from next year. Half the community benefit fund is ring-fenced for the Jobs and Training initiative for five years. Further information will follow shortly.

The 15-turbine Middle Muir Wind Farm is a significant investment into the local economy by Banks Renewables, and local businesses have the opportunity to tender for contracts worth up to £11 million in relation to different elements of the scheme, including construction, concrete, fencing, stone, security, accommodation and catering.

Construction works, including turbine erection, connecting them to grid infrastructure and final snagging is programmed to be completed in February 2019. However, weather and ground conditions-permitting, this could be completed as early as December 2018.

Any local resident interested in being part of the Middle Muir Wind Farm community liaison committee should email middlemuir@banksgroup.co.uk or call the project team on 0191 378 6100.  For further general information on the wind farm, please visit http://www.banksgroup.co.uk/middle-muir/

Banks Renewables is part of the Banks Group (www.banksgroup.co.uk), a family firm founded in 1976, which now employs more than 400 people in the renewable energy, property and mining sectors.

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Chris Fairbairn of Scottish public relations agency, Holyrood PR in Edinburgh

Chris Fairbairn

Chris Fairbairn is an Account Director with award-winning public relations agency Holyrood PR. He is part of an expert PR team delivering PR services to a wide range of clients from headquarters in Edinburgh, Scotland.

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