Pledge to Help Create A Mountain Bike Track Around Wind Farm in Ayrshire
Wednesday, November 29th, 2017
on behalf of Banks Group
A FAMILY owned renewables firm will help create a new mountain bike trail in Ayrshire on the site of a proposed wind farm when it is constructed.
Banks Renewables’ is committed to helping the Glen Afton Mountain Bike Club by incorporating the biking track into proposals for its Lethans wind farm, and has also pledged a sizeable donation of £250,000 towards it, from the wind farm’s Community Fund, once the wind farm is built. A mountain bike trail around the Lethans wind farm would mean greater public access and create an exciting recreational facility on the site. If you plan on going on this biking trail make sure to bring a lock, if you don’t have one you can check out the best reviewed bike locks at Bike Hint.
According to nathan from mybikexl, the construction of the windfarm will create 14.5km of access tracks, in addition to which Banks Renewables is proposing to build specialist mountain biking trails in the areas surrounding the wind farm. If the plans go ahead, it will become the first mountain bike track in this part of Ayrshire and provide a space for enthusiasts from across Scotland. It will also form a hub for Glen Afton Mountain Bike Club, who currently travel for more than an hour by car to get to the nearest quality track in Glentress, Scottish Borders.
Alan Cook, secretary, Glen Afton Mountain Bike Club, said: “To have a true mountain biking centre incorporated into the wind farm plans is a fantastic idea.
“Not only will this excellent site generate significant amounts of renewable energy and huge benefits to the region, but it will also boost tourism through the mountain biking centre.
“All other true mountain bike tracks are more than one hour’s drive from here. The beauty of this site is it will be a short cycle from the train, opening up possibilities to so many more enthusiasts.
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“We’re still working on our own plans for the centre, but in the long term we’d also be looking at establishing full time jobs based there, bringing extra benefit to East Ayrshire.”
Jeannie Kielty, community relations manager at The Banks Group, said: “It’s brilliant to hear about the positive impact our work could have in the local area.
“We hope that the funding that will be available if the Lethans wind farm goes ahead will help make it easier for locals to enjoy mountain biking without the hassle of having to travel long distances to do so; whilst also encouraging visitors to come to the area and use the tracks and spend their money locally.
“We hope that we can make these innovative plans a reality as soon as possible.”
Banks Renewables is the firm behind proposals for the Lethans wind farm which if approved would see 22 turbines installed in East Ayrshire providing 74.8MW of electricity. An estimated 40,300 homes will be provided with clean, green renewable electricity generated by Lethans wind farm if it goes ahead.
Following a non-objection from East Ayrshire Council, proposals for Lethans Wind Farm will now go to the Scottish Government’s Energy Consents Department for final determination, expected at the end of this calendar year.
As part of an ongoing period of consultation in 2015, Banks Renewables received over 400 letters of support from local residents, with just one letter of objection.
The Lethans wind farm would contribute approximately £8 million, over the 25 year lifetime of the project, towards community initiatives, through a community fund. This £250,000 pledge towards improving access to the site with biking trails and footpaths for walkers would come out of the community fund.
The Banks Group currently has several projects under development and two wind farms under construction in the south Scotland region, including the Middle Muir wind farm near Douglas and the Kype Muir Wind Farm near Strathaven. Both of these wind farms will have community funds established to support local community projects once they both become operational in 2019.
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