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Cash windfall from turbines for Cromdale Village Hall project

By Gavin Musgrove

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The Berryburn windfarm, south of Forres, continues to generate funds for local causes. Picture: Becky Saunderson.
The Berryburn windfarm, south of Forres, continues to generate funds for local causes. Picture: Becky Saunderson.

A project to make Cromdale Village Hall more energy efficient is the biggest winner in the windfall from a local renewable energy development.

The scheme to insulate the hall’s extension which includes a kitchen, meeting room and store has been awarded £20,356 in the latest round of funding awards the Berry Burn Community Fund.

A hall spokesperson said: “We are delighted to receive this grant which will ensure that everyone who uses the hall will be comfy and warm. It will also bring the cost of heating down considerably.

“The committee is very grateful for the grant as the hall is becoming very busy with local groups including bowling, SWI ladies, Coffee and Chat events, and recently a series of ceilidhs have drawn in crowds.

“After the Easter break there is another happening on April 6th featuring the talented young band ‘Northward’. Tickets available now.

“It will be a chance to work off those Easter chocolates and dance the night away.”

Grantown YMCA Community Centre was another big winner and will receive £17,762 to facilitate a comprehensive fire risk assessment and make critical enhancements to comply with fire safety regulations.

Two other winners in the town were the Grantown Society which is getting £1,576 towards the cost of running the Fiddler of Strathspey Festival 2024 and Fiona’s Wholefoods & Refills which will receive £5,000 to fund the development of a sustainable community hub on-site.

A total of £112,269 was approved in this the 30th round of funding helping to finance 12 projects in the vicinity of the wind farm.

A spokesperson said: “Applications received were for more than twice the amount of funds available, therefore it was not possible to help everyone, no matter how worthy the cause.”

This latest round brings the total contribution to date towards local causes to £1,928,370.

Dr Jana Hutt, chair of the Berry Burn Community Fund, said: “The fund received a bumper number of good applications this round and members had to make some difficult decisions.

“We congratulate all the successful applicants who will go on to make our communities stronger and more vibrant.”

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

The date of the next awards meeting is June 17 and the closing date for applications is May 13.

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