Quixwood wind farm developers are working hard to win over the locals and their latest target is the business sector.
After reducing the number of 126 metre high turbines on the site between Grantshouse and Abbey St Bathans from the original 20 to 14 following public exhibitions in May last year, and putting a positive spin on a 120 house public survey last December which showed a positive response of two fifths, they are now winning over Borders businesses with the promise of over £7 million worth of contracts to be tendered for.
Banks Renewables say that there will be around 55 jobs during the construction phase of the £43 million wind farm.
Business leaders praised the wind farm company’s plans to offer £7.1 million worth of contracts to local companies in the Borders and are urging local businesses to go along to the company’s ‘Meet the Buyer’ event in Galashiels on Thursday, June 28 at Borders College on Nether Road, from 1-4pm - contact Quixwood@banksgroup.co.uk.
Ged Gowans, director of Borders Chambers of Commerce, said: “We are delighted to welcome events like this to the Borders as we know how much value this could bring to local businesses and inject into the wider local economy.
“It also opens up an opportunity for companies to work on renewable projects, which is a great thing as the industry is growing and will increasingly need local contractors who have experience.
“This Meet the Buyer event will be an excellent opportunity for local companies to put themselves at the front of the queue when it comes to winning work, should the wind farm development win planning permission.”
Hamilton-based Banks Renewables, who submitted a planning application to Scottish Borders Council earlier this year, prides itself on its “development with care approach”, and say they are “committed to working with communities where it has projects, to ensure they see long-term benefits”.
Fiona Turnbull from the Building and Construction Industry Forum praised the company for its forward-thinking approach, saying: “This kind of event gives local construction companies a great chance of winning work in an ever growing sector.
“It’s definitely something that businesses should consider attending as the opportunities are the kind that may not come up again.”
Phil Dyke, development director at Bank Renewables said: “This is an excellent opportunity for contractors to find out more about the project and how they can be part of it. But it’s also a chance for them to get an insight into what kind of company we are.
“Our ‘development with care’ philosophy is fundamental to everything we do.
“It’s important we have a partnership with a local community, so that local families and businesses see real, long-term benefits.
“By offering these contracts to local businesses we are well on our way to doing that. Our approach will not only help to create local jobs but could also lead to further income coming into the area through things like local supply chain.
“This type of opportunity will be extremely important to businesses in the Borders over the next ten years.
“With the prospect of many other wind farms being built, we are providing an initial chance for companies to work on a renewable project which will stand them in good stead for any future projects that may come into the area.”
Opportunities will be created across multiple sectors with the bulk of the £7.1m of contracts in balance of plant, including construction, waste solutions, fabrication and aggregates.
Banks Renewables also estimates a further £2 million worth of indirect benefits for the local economy, including food suppliers, pubs, hotels, B&Bs, haulage firms, delivery companies and caravan providers.
At the event in Galashiels, local company owners and operators will meet both the procurement and construction teams from Banks Renewables.
Those who register an interest will have the chance to be added to a tenders short list, and if the project gets planning approval, those on the list will be invited to bid for work.
The project at Quixwood could generate up to 32.3MW of energy, enough to meet the annual energy needs of 19,400 homes, land is expected to link into the National Grid via a link to either the Eccles substation or to Berwick sub-station.