West Highland Fee Press
Households in North West Skye will be able to access grants of up to £500 to help them through the coronavirus crisis thanks to a new major pledge from a renewable energy firm.
Falck Renewables, the owner of Ben Aketil Wind Farm near Dunvegan, has announced a fund for the communities around its windfarms to help alleviate the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak.
The company is donating £180,000 to be shared between the community benefit trusts which administer funds from its 12 wind farms in Scotland, England and Wales.
Jason Bold, Chair of Dunvegan Community Trust who administer the funding from Ben Aketil Wind Farm, said: “Whilst we navigate these challenging circumstances in our rural community, Falck Renewables Covid-19 grant has offered us much needed funds to collaborate with local groups.
“Dunvegan Community Council has been very responsive and progressive to set up a Community Fund, which we are proud to back with Falck’s kind support.”
The Trust has joined forces with Dunvegan and District Community Council to establish a community fund offering financial support to anyone in the community council area experiencing financial hardship due to the Covid 19 virus.
Grants will be generally given to support immediate needs and be limited to £500 per household.
The community fund will be facilitated and regulated by Skye and Lochalsh Citizens Advice Bureau.
John Laing, chair of Dunvegan and District Community Council, said: “The Dunvegan Community Council are aware of the difficulties many individuals and families are experiencing during these exceptional times.
“We have launched the Dunvegan Community Fund to assist those in our community who are in need of assistance as a result of the Covid 19 virus and are delighted to have generous support of The Dunvegan Trust and Falck Renewables whose generous support have made our fund possible”
Managing Director of Falck Renewables UK, Richard Dibley, said: “We have a close relationship with the communities around our wind farms and their response to the current challenging situation has been as proactive and heartwarming as we would have expected.
“They are already involved in helping the people and organisations in their area who need it most and we were keen to support them.”
Dunvegan Community Trust has also made a £1,000 donation to the Skye and Lochalsh Community Food Bank.
Food bank chair Davina McCluskie said: “We are very grateful for the grant from the Dunvegan Community Trust which will go a long way in helping those in need. We have seen an increase in users at the foodbank and I fear we will see many more in the coming weeks.
“We have no paid members on the food bank committee – we are all volunteers so all monies go to purchasing food supplies only.”
The UK fund is part of Falck Renewables’ global support for communities around its wind and solar plants in Italy, UK, France, Spain, and the US.
Falck Renewables is also supporting research on Covid-19 therapeutic solutions carried out by the University of Milan and the “Sacco” Hospital in Milan.