Community groups powered by Glenmuckloch funding

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Innovative community projects across Upper Nithsdale will receive a funding boost, thanks to enterprising young people at Sanquhar Academy.

A total of 11 organisations will benefit from the third round of the Glenmuckloch Community Energy Park funding scheme – a project which provides financial assistance for public benefit to groups and organisations in the area.

The revenue for the project is generated by two wind turbines on a site adjacent to the Glenmuckloch surface mine, near Kirkconnel. 

Funding is administered by fifth and sixth year pupils at Sanquhar Academy, who have adopted the name Propel for the charitable purposes committee.

Sanquhar Academy Ethan Weir said: “Our community funding programme is really gaining momentum: we all live in Upper Nithsdale and we hear a lot of people talking about it. There’s a real sense of excitement within the community.

‘We’re very proud to be able to help community projects in this way. We’ve received more than 100 applications since the project began in 2015, and choosing which groups will benefit gets more difficult each year.”

The successful groups in this round of funding are – The Wee Playgroup; Brighten Up Kirkconnel and Kelloholm; Kirkconnel and Kelloholm Development Trust; Miners Movies Steering Group; Kirkconnel and Kelloholm Heritage; Upper Nithsdale Riding for the Disabled; St Bride’s Parish Church; Sanquhar Golf Club; Sanquhar Sewing Bee; and Nith United Football Club. Upper Nithsdale Youth Pipe Band will be receiving its third and final funding instalment.

“I’m really enjoying being part of Propel,” Ethan added. It’s great learning about the different groups and organisations in Upper Nithsdale and I love being part of a project which is helping organisations have a positive and lasting impact in our community.

“Thank you to everyone who applied and a big congratulations to our successful groups.”

Propel receives advice and support from representatives from the Scottish Mines Restoration Trust (SMRT), Buccleuch, and Dumfries and Galloway Council.

The energy park complements the restoration work being carried out on the Glenmuckloch opencast mine site and is being delivered by four key partners – the Scottish Mines Restoration Trust, The Buccleuch Estates Ltd, Hargreaves and Dumfries and Galloway Council.

The Buccleuch Estates Ltd, Dumfries and Galloway Council and Scottish Mines Restoration Trust Limited each contributed £50,000 at the start of the project, and Hargreaves Surface Mining Limited contributed £150,000. A further £150,000 has since been provided by The Buccleuch Estates Ltd and Hargreaves Surface Mining Limited, £100,000 by Mines Restoration Limited and £25,000 by Scottish Mines Restoration Trust Limited.

Alan Hiddleston of Buccleuch, chair of Glenmuckloch Community Energy Park board, said: “The young people continue to work tirelessly to make this project a success and they’re doing a great job.

“Choosing the successful groups was a very challenging process and the team approached the task with great professionalism.

“We can see that this funding is having a demonstrable impact on our community and is making life better for many families.”

The wind turbines have the potential to generate £2.5 million over the next 25 years. Revenues will remain with Glenmuckloch Energy Park until distributed to good causes by Propel. 

To find out more about the scheme and to request an application form, email