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Wind farm fund for groups

The Blyth Offshore Demonstrator Wind Farm. Picture by Chris Henderson Photography.
The Blyth Offshore Demonstrator Wind Farm. Picture by Chris Henderson Photography.

EDF Renewables has launched the Blyth Offshore Demonstrator Wind Farm Community Benefit Fund.

And the Community Foundation, which is operating the £55,000-a-year fund, is calling on groups within Blyth, East Bedlington, Cambois and the Seaton Valley to apply for a share of the money.

Applications from £5,000 to £10,000 will be considered – in exceptional circumstances, the fund may consider applications of up to £20,000.

Pete Barrett, senior programme advisor at the Community Foundation, said: “The Blyth Offshore Demonstrator Wind Farm has the potential to make a lasting difference to communities in the Blyth, Cambois, East Bedlington and Seaton Valley areas.

“We’re delighted to work with EDF Renewables and a panel of local residents on this exciting opportunity.

“The fund will operate for 25 years, or until the wind farm ceases to operate, meaning that potentially, more than £1million could be awarded to community groups and charities in what is considered to be an area of disadvantage.”

Applications are now open to eligible organisations. They will be considered by a panel of local people in September.

The first round of funding is due to be distributed in October.

The wind farm currently has five turbines in place. They are located 5.7km off the coast of Blyth.

Nick Bradford, head of asset management at EDF Renewables said: “We are fully committed to empowering local communities in the areas in which we operate.

“Through the Blyth Offshore Demonstrator Wind Farm Community Benefit Fund at the Community Foundation, we can make sure that the needs of the community are met and that funding can go to the projects most in need.

“This is a fantastic opportunity and will make a difference to a lot of local people.”

For more information or to make an application, go to www.communityfoundation.org.uk/apply