Funding for a range of training programmes to tackle unemployment in the Greenlaw area has been put in place - but will only be available if a proposed wind farm goes ahead.
TCI Renewables plan to build a nine turbine wind farm at Rumbletonrig, west of Greenlaw and last week they put their name to the ‘RumbletonRig Skills Fund’ committing themselves, Borders College, Scottish Borders Chamber of Commerce and Federation of Small Businesses to put in place and deliver £40,000 of funding on a range of training programmes to meet the needs of local unemployed people.
The agreement also offers financial incentives to businesses to provide employment opportunities and Modern Apprenticeships. Businesses will also be offered assistance to identify training opportunities for their workforce.
This is the third incentive offered to the community by TCI Renewables if the wind farm is built - Greenlaw Football Club would receive £150,000 for a Third Generation (3G) pitch and the local community has been promised a guaranteed minimum payment of £112,500 a year.
Paul Beale, project manager for TCI Renewables, said: “We are extremely keen to demonstrate to members of the community the socio-economic benefits that a wind farm like Rumbletonrig, not just through its construction and maintenance alone, can bring.
“And that is why over and above the potential community benefit fund we are committing this additional funding, encouraging young people in particular to stay in the area through delivering training and employment opportunities.”
Liz McIntyre, principal of Borders College said: “The signing of the MoU represents an exciting opportunity for young people and businesses in the area around the wind farm. The additional benefits that will come from TCI Renewables commitment to this fund for these business and young people are very welcome.”
Graham Bell, Chairman Federation of Small Businesses Borders Branch added: “We welcome any initiatives directed at improving the employability of our young people. It is right that a major proposal like this is modelling how the business community can support them through training and workplace opportunities.”