Belfast Telegraph

Windyfields community funds vow

By Margaret Canning

Wind energy developer Windyfields has said it will offer £5,000 per megawatt for community funds on its larger wind projects – including a controversial scheme in Gortin, Co Tyrone.

The company, formerly known as Renewable Energy International, said the move would mean projects such as the proposed Lisnaharney wind farm near Gortin would provide over £200,000 every year for groups in the area.

Funds would be administered through a community investment fund in the area – and Windyfields said it had started screening potential bodies which could administer a Lisnaharney fund.

The plans for a wind farm in the area have met resistance from such parts of the community.

Windyfields chief executive Jeff Potter said: "The proposed Lisnaharney community fund will help ensure that local projects, community groups and organisations receive the financial support to boost community development, with an emphasis on job-creation and education."

He said Windyfields was one of the first renewable companies in Northern Ireland to offer "this level of financial support".

He claimed the fund would be "unlike many other schemes" by aiming to benefit everyone without imposing a large number of restrictions on usage.

"If the wind farm is granted planning approval, the community fund will be formally established, and we will be engaging widely to ensure as many local people benefit as possible."

Belfast Telegraph