Community projects will be spin the money thanks to Leeds wind farm

Hook Moor wind farm.

Hook Moor wind farm.

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Residents have been reminded that thousands of pounds worth of grants are available following the big switch-on at the first wind farm in the Leeds metropolitan area.

As previously reported by the Yorkshire Evening Post, the £14m energy-producing scheme on agricultural land at Hook Moor, near Micklefield, started operating late last year.

The firm behind the wind farm, Durham-based Banks Renewables, is now offering grants of up to £3,000 to community groups, environmental projects and voluntary organisations.

An announcement on the first set of successful bidders is expected in the next few weeks.

Banks was yesterday also keen to stress, however, that further applications remain welcome.

They will be considered at the next meeting of the scheme’s funding committee, currently scheduled for June.

Grants will normally be restricted to initiatives in Micklefield and Aberford and around £10,000 will be on offer during each year of the wind farm’s 25-year lifespan.

Banks Group development relations co-ordinator Lewis Stokes said: “Public funding remains very hard to come by for many community groups, and the money available from this fund could make a big difference to the facilities and activities local people are able to access for years to come.”

Banks initially had its application for planning permission for the wind farm rejected by Leeds City Council after residents complained it would be too close to their homes.

The local authority’s decision was overruled by the Government’s Planning Inspectorate in 2011.

Each of the wind farm’s five turbines measures 125 metres (410 feet) in height from ground to blade tip.

For further details about the grants scheme, ring 0191 378 6342 or go to www.banksgroup.co.uk/development-with-care/bankscommunityfund/wind-farm-community-fund.