Flexibility around wind farm grant ensures museum carries on important work during pandemic

Banks Group Press releases

£1k funding repurposed after original exhibition thwarted by Covid

A grant from Banks Renewables’ South Lanarkshire Kype Muir Wind Farm community fund has enabled the Strathaven John Hastie Museum Trust, to continue to deliver community projects after their usual indoor summer exhibition in 2020 had to be axed due to Covid-19.

The Strathaven John Hastie Museum Trust is a Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) registered charity, with a mission to educate and inform the community of Strathaven and Avondale about its local history.

The museum had planned a summer 2020 exhibition on local 18th century revolutionary James ‘Purlie’ Wilson.

Unfortunately, because of the national lockdown last summer, the exhibition had to be cancelled. 

Banks Renewables agreed the allocated £1,000 grant could be put towards other Covid safe community projects instead – including a socially distanced outdoor pop-up exhibition in the Common Green, Strathaven and a “Strathaven time capsule” created by the community.

Anna McCann, Treasurer and Trustee of the Strathaven John Hastie Museum Trust, said: “Every year, the trust runs a summer exhibition for the last two weeks in June, facilitating workshops for local schools.

“We had booked the church hall for our summer exhibition last year, but unfortunately the pandemic prevented it from going ahead as planned.

“When restrictions began to ease in July 2020, Banks allowed us to spend the grant on hiring an outdoor gazebo so we could run a pop-up socially distanced, outdoor exhibition in the Common Green which was a huge hit with the community.

“The funding is also allowing us to curate a Covid time capsule, filled with memories, stories, pictures and artwork from Strathaven locals throughout the pandemic.

“Keeping the history of Strathaven alive is the key objective of the Trust. if it wasn’t for additional funding by the likes of the KMCP [Kype Muir Community Panel] and the generosity of the community, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do.

“We’re very hopeful we can run our exhibition as planned this summer.”

The KMCP awards money to local community groups within 10 kilometres of Banks Renewables’ Kype Muir Wind farm in South Lanarkshire. Funding began in April 2019 when the 26-turbine wind farm started to generate green electricity. 

George Smith, who chairs the KMCP said: “The Strathaven John Hastie Museum Trust is an important part of the Strathaven community – the volunteers are doing brilliant work in showcasing the town’s history and preserving it for future generations.

“We’re delighted to be able to support the group and we look forward to seeing more exhibitions and events held this year.” 

Robin Winstanley, sustainability and external affairs manager with the Hamilton-based employer, Banks Renewables, said: “We’re thrilled we’re able to provide vital funds which support local community groups like the John Hastie Museum Trust through our Kype Muir wind farm fund.

“We’re committed to ensuring the surrounding area of South Lanarkshire benefits the most from our wind farms – the KMCP is a fantastic example of what we can do to help support our local communities.”

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