Changes have been announced by South Lanarkshire Council of how funding can be redistributed

​Changes to the ways in which money is redistributed to communities from wind farms have been agreed.
The changes to how funding can be used might be a way of saving local community assetsThe changes to how funding can be used might be a way of saving local community assets
The changes to how funding can be used might be a way of saving local community assets

The new arrangements will support a more strategic approach to the use of the funding.

South Lanarkshire Council administer the Renewable Energy Fund (REF), with money paid into it by wind farm operators across the area.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Previously, the large grant available to applicants was 50% of the project costs. This has been increased to 75%, and in some cases 100% of the grant will be available depending on the conditions. This could help with funding applications such as Community Asset Transfers in the future. Important right now as the council are considering closing many community facilities across Clydesdale.

Other changes to the REF include an ability to fund revenue projects for up to three years (in addition to capital projects), an increase in the small grants level to 100% funding up to £20,000 and the introduction of a Rural Facilities Sustainability Fund to help communities consider asset ownership and retain facilities for a period of up to three years.

The decision was endorsed at a meeting of the Community and Enterprise Resources Committee and will be referred to the Executive Committee for final approval.

Chair of the Community and Enterprise Resources Committee, Robert Brown, said: “The Renewable Energy Fund has been a considerable success in supporting and improving rural facilities like village halls, sports clubs and employment. The REF is steadily increasing in value but it is vital that rural communities are able to maximise the long term benefit of the funds to sustain rural towns, villages and communities and build on local facilities.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“The changes agreed by the Committee give rural communities more power and wider options.”

David Booth, Community and Enterprise Resources, said: “In consultation with local people, Community and Enterprise Resources will be able to develop larger, more complex, projects to sustain rural communities.

“The new arrangements will provide further funding opportunities for community groups in taking on local assets such as community halls.”

Related topics: