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Community Groups To Share £250,000 Of Wind Farm Company Grants

Several community groups have benefited from a share of £250,000 of funding from Dong Energy.

The Walney Extension Community Fund was set up in 2016 to help organisations and community projects by Dong Energy - which last week announced plans to change its name).

Some 16 groups will receive a share of the latest windfall.

Each year, around £600,000 will be made available for a number of projects during the expected 25-year lifetime of the Walney Extension Offshore Wind Farm.

Humphrey Laidlaw, Dong Energy’s policy analyst, said: "We’re delighted to announce the latest round of successful applicants and to help support the positive impact that these groups and organisations have in the local community.

"Dong Energy is passionate about the region and we're very proud of the strong relationships that Walney Extension Offshore Wind Farm has formed in the local community.

"This community fund gives us a real opportunity to make a difference and will continue to do so for the lifetime of the project."

The 16 groups have joined a list of 27 other community projects to have benefited from the fund since it began.

Among the local groups to benefit are Barrow and Districts Society for the Blind, which received £10,000, the Love Barrow Families CIC, which received £13,000 and Ulverston's Ford Park Community Group, which received £17,026.

A sum of £5,000 was also awarded to the Barrow Raiders Rugby League Youth Development Programme, while the Shackles Off Youth Project in Copeland received £6,000.

Barrow CancerCare and South Walney Nature Reserve were celebrating grants of £25,000 and £23,000 respectively.

Other groups include The Well Communities CIC, which was awarded £30,000, and Cumbria CVS with £19,000.

The fourth round of applications is now open and will close on January 24, 2018.

The Walney Extension Offshore Wind Farm run by Dong is located around 19km from Walney. Once fully commissioned, it will leapfrog London Array to become the world’s largest operational offshore windfarm and generate enough clean energy to meet the annual electricity demands of more than half a million UK homes.

Last month, it started providing electricity to the National Grid following the successful installation of the first of 87 turbines.

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