RES established a pre-construction fund in 2012 in order to release funds prior to the full Community Benefit Fund coming into effect. This allowed community groups the chance to access modest levels of funding prior to completion of the wind farm and gave the fund panel valuable experience in assessing and awarding grants to local projects.
One of the first grants to be awarded in this period was to Tydd St Mary Village Hall for £5,000 towards the cost of replacing the roof. The original roof was an asbestos/cement material that over the years had sustained cracks and the only thing that stopped rain from pouring in was the moss! However, this didn't prevent the damp affecting the ceiling with visible black spoors. The project has now been completed and the hall has a watertight and wind proof roof, which has the added bonus of making the building more efficient to heat. The hall is an important community hub that benefits over 200 people of all ages and abilities by being used to host Bingo sessions, a Friendship Club, Youth Club and by providing a meeting place and party venue for local residents.
The full Community Benefit Fund comprising £28,000 a year became available upon full operation of The Grange Wind Farm in May 2013. Click here for information on how to apply.