Fallago Rig windfarm will generate “vital” new funding for environmental management with the introduction of the Fallago Environment Fund.
Construction of the windfarm is due to start shortly and the environment fund should become active in early 2013.
Managed by Tweed Forum, which promotes sustainable use of the river Tweed and its catchment, nearly a quarter of a million pounds a year will be available to help communities in the Scottish Borders protect and enhance their local environment.
Bob Kay, chairman of Tweed Forum, said that the establishment of the fund will be of “profound importance” for many years to come.
“Not only is the funding relatively long term, but the legacy it will leave will last for generations,” he insisted. “It is particularly welcome at a time when the financial climate is extremely harsh and communities and other organisations are struggling to secure monies to carry out such work.”
Roddy Jackson of Roxburghe Estates explained: “Due to the scale of the development we were keen to see the benefits spread across a wider area than is normally the case with most windfarm funds.
“It also seemed appropriate that the revenue derived from a renewable energy resource was invested back into the environment of the region - one of our greatest assets. Tweed Forum have an established track record of delivering on this front.”
Tweed Forum director Luke Comins commented: “Whilst it will not be until early 2013 that the funding comes on stream, we are working closely with both the estate and the developers to draw up grant criteria and administrative procedures which will be publicised in due course.
“However, what we can say is that the funding will be £240,000 per annum and will be open to the whole of the Scottish Borders. The aim of the fund will be to enhance the quality of life for local communities and visitors to the Borders through investment in the protection, enhancement and appreciation of the natural, built and cultural heritage of the Scottish Borders environment.”
He added: “The Tweed Forum partnership has shown through the delivery of the Tweed Rivers Heritage Project, the enormous benefits of investing in the river, its environs and the communities that live and depend upon them. The Fallago Environment Fund offers the opportunity to continue and expand this valuable work.”