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Community Windpower surpass 6.5 million in community benefit funding

Hall

Community Windpower are delighted to announce that our community benefits funding across our eight operational windfarms has now surpassed £6.5 million. This is a fantastic achievement, and it is great to see that we have funded so many legacy projects which invest in existing communities but also provide secure foundations that will connect people for years to come. One recent major contribution has been the funding of a community asset project in the Scottish Borders: the complete re-building of Abbey St Bathans Village Hall.

In the Abbey St Bathans Community Action Plan, the village hall was highlighted as a key opportunity for regeneration. Community Windpower were happy to contribute the majority of the funds – with donations totalling £300,000 – to help complete the long list of building works. A brand-new hall now stands proudly, one that is safe, spacious, and functional. A £250,000 lump sum donation from Community Windpower to the Preston and Abbey Community Trust served to provide an alternative to a bank loan with high interest, which the Trust was previously considering. This was a much more economical decision, and Community Windpower seized the opportunity to make a tangible difference to Abbey St Bathans.

The original 111-year-old building was demolished following the careful removal of asbestos sheeting, leaving a clean slate available for the new hall. Surrounding ground and foliage disturbance was minimised using sensitive design methods, such as the deployment of a screw pile foundation which does not require concrete and overall results in a lower carbon footprint for the development. Durable timber was selected as the primary construction and cladding material; timber will keep heat within the building in the winter months and is also attractive in the encompassing forest environment. Inside, the village hall now boasts underfloor heating, a large reception room for community meetings, and a ramp to make sure all facilities are accessible.

Diane Wood, Community Benefits Director at Community Windpower, said: “This development is an exciting asset which provides a meeting place for the likes of locals, community organisations and young people after a difficult period during the Covid-19 pandemic. We trust that this new hall will be a great lasting legacy for Abbey St Bathans, one which can be enjoyed by all for many years to come.”

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