Cultercullen to cash in on turbines

RESIDENTS in the vicinity of Cultercullen are to follow in the footsteps of nearby Udny and Pitmedden, by cashing in on the area’s wind generation potential.

Three wind turbines in the area, owned by Broadview Energy, have already generated thousands of pounds which have been set aside for community purposes. As a result, a new fund - described as the Hill of Fiddes Community Fund - has been launched, with £20,300 already contributed. The turbine owners have proposed to contribute £11,000 a year for the lifetime of the turbines, to be spent in the area on community projects, with the fund administered by local community councillors and school representatives. With the turbine’s lifetime estimated at twenty five years, the fund could amount to hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Lisa Ross, Community Manager for Broadview Energy, said: “We are extremely pleased to be handing over a cheque for £20,300 and we look forward to the fund being put to good use locally.

“The fund demonstrates our commitment to continued community involvement in the project and our desire to provide local communities with tangible benefits from hosting a wind farm.”

Nearby Udny Community Council’s long running project to erect a community-backed wind turbine is set to bring hundreds of thousands of pounds to Pitmedden and Udny over coming years, while a similar community-backed scheme is proposed for Skelmonae between Auchnagatt and Methlick, with funds earmarked for the Formartine Partnership.

Treasurer on the fund’s administration committee William Grant told the Times that the money would be welcomed by the communities of Cultercullen and Foveran, whose schools stand to benefit from an injection of cash to purchase new equipment for pupils.

“The committee have seen some ideas on how to spend the money, but I don’t want to talk about them until we properly meet,” he said. “The committee includes two representatives from Udny COmmunity Council, three from Foveran, and representatives of the local schools and halls. I know of one application for funding which has gone in already, and imagine that there will be others in the pipeline.

“The money will be used for one-off, capital purchases such as equipment for schools which wouldn’t otherwise be funded by the education budget. It will be very useful to the communities of Foveran and Cultercullen. Generally, public opinion has been favourable to this development.”

Members of the local community are invited to find out more about the fund at a launch event planned for Monday, December 5 at 7.30pm at Udny Station Community Centre, Udny Station, AB41 6ZD.

The launch will see Broadview present a cheque for the fund value to date of £20,300, as well as appoint the Management Committee who will be responsible for administering the fund .