Nearly £450,000 available now for people in Dufftown, Cabrach, Glenlivet, Glenrinnis, Inveravon and Auchindoun from EDF Renewables and Dorenell Wind Farm
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The first £447,000 portion of a £16million grant from a major wind farm in Moray in now available to the local community.
Today sees the launch of the Dorenell Wind Farm Community Benefit Fund.
The fund allows people who live and work in Dufftown, Auchindoun, Glenrinnes, Glenlivet, Inveravon and Cabrach to apply for grants of up to £30,000.
Decisions on how the funding is allocated will be made by a panel of 12 local representatives.
One of these is Tricia Lawson from Glenlivet and Inveravon Community Association.
She said: "The Dorenell Community Benefit Fund will bring exciting opportunities for projects, small and large.
"It will enable members of all age groups within our communities to help support a viable future and create an enduring legacy."
The panel are keen to see projects and activities which are community-led and of benefit to local residents.
They will also be looking for applications that meet the themes highlighted in the Dorenell community development plan, such as environment, heritage, recreation, tourism, housing and transport.
The grants will be paid by EDF Renewables, the majority owner of Dorenell Wind Farm Limited. a
In March, following a lengthy and concerted campaign by local people, the energy giant agreed to increase the fund from £12million to £16million.
That cash will be paid over the course of the next 25 years.
EDF Renewables, director of asset operations, Piero Maggio said: "We are pleased that local communities can now start benefitting from the fund.
"With such a variety of organisations and projects being able to apply for funding the benefits will be far-reaching."
The panel will be made up of 12 representatives.
That includes two representatives from each of the four local community associations.
As well as Glenlivet and Inveravon, that also includes Cabrach community association, Duffown community association and the Glenrinnes community centre.
The remaining four on the panel will be members of the public appointed through an open recruitment process.
The cash will be administered by Foundation Scotland, an independent grant making charity, which is urging local people to apply before the first submission deadline at the end of August.
Original plans to have an event to celebrate the launch have been put on hold due to the pandemic.
However Foundation Scotland will be hosting online and over-the-phone sessions for anyone to ask questions.
These are being run on Wednesday, July 8 and Monday, July 13.
Appointments can be booked via the Dorenell page on the Foundation Scotland website.
Read more news from Moray here
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