A South Lanarkshire community is one turn of a wheel closer to becoming a top road cycling destination, after a hugely successful event and the backing of a renewables developer.
Taking place on Saturday, (10 September), to raise funds towards a new playpark in Sandford, the inaugural Sandford Bike Fest saw many enthusiasts, novices and families descend on the village, which is fast establishing itself as a centre for road cycling in Scotland, boasting access to stunning and quiet rural routes.
The day included a wide range of events, including a 10 kilometre family cycle, a 70 kilometre charity challenge cycle and a fun afternoon at Strathaven Ales Brewery, featuring classes to help kids improve cycling, aimed at increasing their safety whilst having fun.
Hamilton based Banks Renewables, the developer behind Kype Muir wind farm, of which Sandford is the nearest community, made a donation to help towards the crucial safe-running of the event.
Trish Munro, of Sandford and Upper Avondale Community Council, said: “The village and wider area have really got behind this event and in realising the benefits and partnerships that can arise by Sandford establishing itself within the road cycling community.
“We are very grateful to the team at Banks Renewables for their donation – it really helped to make the event a success. Without backing we wouldn’t be able to offer the level of safety, security or promotion that contributed to Saturday’s success.”
Colin Anderson, development director with Banks Renewables attended the day with his children and was happy to report the success of the event first hand.
Colin said: “I’m personally delighted we’ve been able to play a small part in the success of this event that is itself raising important funds for the local area. It really was a family affair, with the whole community involved and my kids left with smiles on their faces, coconuts in their pockets and dreaming about winning the welly tossing competition next year!
“We’re passionate about ensuring social and economic support for communities that host our developments – and from day one we’ve made this our mission. Increasing tourism in Sandford and the surrounding area with events like Bike Fest, which is encouraging the use of the area for cycling and public access, is great. It is supporting the local service industry and in the long run will create jobs.”
“With preliminary work now progressing, Kype Muir wind farm will soon generate a consistent and significant economic boost to Sandford and the area.”
The 26 turbine Kype Muir wind farm in South Lanarkshire is expected to be fully commissioned in 2019 and will generate around £11 million in local community revenue over the lifespan of the project.
Under the umbrella of its Connect2Renewables Charter, and the associated employment initiative being delivered in partnership with South Lanarkshire Council, Banks Renewables’ Kype Muir wind farm is set to make a dramatic impact in this rural area of South Lanarkshire.
It will provide a local investment and development opportunity that will promote and support the local economy by creating jobs, skills and learning opportunities and supporting local businesses, local infrastructure and the environment.
Colin added: “We were delighted when Kype Muir Wind Farm got the go ahead, being so close to our office in Hamilton; and it allowed us to continue our long standing commitment to investment in South Lanarkshire.
“The support of South Lanarkshire Council and the surrounding communities in developing the Connect2Renewables initiative has been hugely appreciated by the team at Banks Renewables and the development is now set to provide a positive economic and social legacy for the area.
“It’s absolutely vital that the economic opportunity presented by renewable energy is maximised and that the benefits are felt by those communities closest to developments like wind farms. By working together with local councils and communities we can ensure local social and economic priorities are tackled head on. This in turn can help build ongoing support for more well sited projects in the future that are delivered in the right way – helping Scotland to achieve its longer term renewable energy objectives.”
Banks Renewables is part of the Banks Group (www.banksgroup.co.uk), a family firm founded in 1976, which now employs over 400 people in the renewable energy, property and mining sectors.