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The Berry Burn wind farm Community Fund has announced a total of £49,665 for projects across Moray and the Highlands

By Garry McCartney

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ANOTHER £30,000 has been generated for local projects by natural energy.

The Berry Burn wind farm Community Fund has awarded seven groups in the area a total of £30,015.23, during the 31st round of funding awards - this time involving a total of £49,665 for 10 projects across Moray and the Highlands.

Fund chairman, Harvey Morton, confirmed this round brings the total contribution to causes in the area to £1,978,035.

He said: “As in previous rounds, there were many good applications and the requested support far exceeded the funds available.

“It is always regrettable that the fund cannot meet all the applications for good projects that meet the criteria.”

Forres Smallbore Rifle and Pistol Club was awarded £11,464 for the replacement of their paper-based target system with an approved electronic scoring system.

Moray Active Schools received £5,371.03 for Forres Academy drop-in lunchtime sports sessions.

Forres and District-Vienenburg and Goslar Twinning Association will use £3,900 towards staging a 40th anniversary celebration event involving 60 German visitors.

Forres Bluefins Swimming Club got £3,489 for swim club management software, coaching and judging training, and equipment.

Riding for the Disabled Association Forres, Nairn and District gained £3,404.80 for ‘Tea With A Pony’ - non-riding sessions designed for people living with dementia.

Tessa Brock/Empowered Life now has £1,800 towards two transformative one-day retreats at Marcassie Farm designed to empower women through healing and connection.

And the Findhorn Flyers are to use £586.40 for rental fees for a venue to hold exercise-to-music sessions led by a qualified therapist.

The fund receives an index-linked annual budget of £246,964 from international renewables company Statkraft, whose 29-turbine Berry Burn wind farm lies between Forres and Grantown-on-Spey.

It is overseen by 11 volunteer fund members, living and working within its operational boundary which takes in the community council areas of Forres, East Nairnshire, Grantown-on-Spey, Cromdale and Advie, Speyside, Heldon, Findhorn and Kinloss, Finderne and Dyke Landward. This annual budget is spread over three awards rounds held during the year.

Funding during the current round was also awarded to three Strathspey groups: Strathspey Camanachd received £750 for female shinty players to attend a cultural and sports exchange in Ireland; Grantown Bowling Club is using £10,500. for the refurbishment of its site banking, inclusion of a wheelchair ramp and overall improvements to the bowling green; and Grantown Business Association got £8,400 to employ a project officer to help the committee implement an activity plan and generate revenue to make the role sustainable.

Meanwhile, an opportunity has arisen for two new members to be appointed to the Berry Burn Community Fund. The role is voluntary but travel expenses can be claimed.

The date of the next Berry Burn Community Fund awards meeting is October 21, with the closing date for applications September 16.

For further details, visit https://berryburncommunityfund.co.uk

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