Press release | 2015-10-05 | 16:00 PM

North east community group signed up to support £6mn wind farm fund preparations

Vattenfall, the Hexham-based energy company, has kicked off preparations for a significant wind farm investment fund to benefit a community in Northumberland.

With the construction of Vattenfall’s 16-turbine Ray Wind Farm near Kirkwhelpington well under way, Vattenfall has contracted Community Action Northumberland (CAN) to start engagement with the local community to raise interest and encourage residents and organisations to set out their vision for the investment fund.

The wind farm developer and operator has pledged an index linked annual investment of over £250,000 for the lifetime of the wind farm. If the wind farm generates green power for the next 25 years the community will see a total community investment of over £6 million. Annual payments are due to start in 2017.

Joanne Hutchinson, Vattenfall’s Senior Communications Adviser, said: “Vattenfall believes it is important that local communities benefit from the operation of wind farms. Our experience managing other funds in the UK is that they work best when local people deliver local benefit."

“That’s why we have started this dialogue 18 months before the first payment – and why we are working with CAN – to raise local interest in the fund, encourage local people and organisations to think about how the fund can support the community and seek views on the most effective way that the fund could be managed.”

Andy Dean, the Chief Executive of Community Action Northumberland, said: “We are really excited to have been appointed to carry out the community engagement exercise to determine how best to utilise the community funds generated by this scheme.  We look forward to working closely with the local community, local businesses and Vattenfall over the coming months to ensure that long lasting benefits are achieved."

Local residents can register their interest to stay in touch with the scheme and the community fund via the Vattenfall website: www.vattenfall.co.uk/ray

More information on Community Action Northumberland can be found here