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Wind farm fund celebrates 10 years having made £170,000 in grants

A local charitable fund, set up to benefit residents within 10km’s of the RWE Renewables Kiln Pit Hill Wind Farm, is celebrating its tenth anniversary, having given over £170,000 in grants to charities and voluntary organisations in the area. 

The RWE Renewables Kiln Pit Hill Wind Farm Community Fund at the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland has given grants to voluntary and community projects based in the Shotley Low Quarter, which covers Shotley Bridge, Whittonstall and surrounding villages in County Durham.

Pete Barrett, Senior Programme Manager at the Community Foundation said: 

“Over the years the RWE Renewables Kiln Pit Hill Wind Farm Community Fund has supported a number of organisations in the area and a diverse range of projects including maintenance of community buildings, funding local theatre performances, upgrading the Parish Councils IT system and installing defibrillator units. In rural communities such as these, the grants this fund provides become increasingly vital”. 

For some local organisations, the support the fund has provided over a number of years, has been crucial in helping them establish themselves and continue to operate, for the benefit of local residents. 

Andy Spencer, Chair at Whittonstall Community Band described how the fund helped their intergenerational band: 

“Without the contribution from the RWE Community Fund, we simply wouldn’t have been able to get the band started. From 2014 the funding has been integral to the success of the band – along with the joyful enthusiasm of successive band leaders and members.” 

For members, the band is an important part of the community and provides an opportunity for people to come together. As one member explained: 

“Attending band practice is the highlight of my week, we feel like one big family, enjoying playing music together. I get to play in a band with my children, friends and neighbours. This band is my only interaction with others who live in my Parish and surrounding area and is the only time I regularly see people who live near me.” 

Kathryn Harries, UK Community Investment Officer at RWE Renewables said: 

“Funding for small local projects can be so hard to come by yet these projects are so valued by rural communities. RWE is delighted to be able to offer such long-term support to our neighbours and will continue to do so for the lifetime of the wind farm.” 

If you would like to learn more about the Fund or would like to be considered to become a member of the Advisory Panel, helping to shape the direction of the Fund and support local charitable organisations please contact Pete Barrett using the form below.