Neilston set for £2m wind farm windfall

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Neilston Development Trust expects to gain nearly £2 million by cashing in its stake in a wind farm scheme launched four years ago.

Neilston Community Windfarm, whose remaining 72 per cent was owned by developers Carbon Free, has been acquired by The Renewables Infrastructure Group (TRIG).

The Trust reckoned it was the right time to sell its 28 per cent stake in the four-turbine project, and will now stage a public meeting on May 30 to outline plans for using the cash in the future.

After repaying the loans taken out to fund NDT’s share of the windfarm and legal costs, there will be a surplus of about £2 million.

This will be used to start a charitable fund to support local facilities, services, jobs and community life in the area.

This is in addition to £400,000 already received by NDT over the last four years, which has helped pay for staff and the provision of key services from the NDT’s “Bank” community facility.

NDT says The scale of the return reflects the strength of the investment model it used.

Chairwoman Pauline Gallacher said: “This agreement gives us guaranteed funding to invest in the future development of our community”.

“The windfarm was not a risk free investment but the high level of return over a short period is a tribute to those who supported the principle of a joint venture.

“We hope that this agreement will result in wider support for more community led investments in Neilston and elsewhere.”

The community meeting to outline plans for the new fund is at Neilston’s St Thomas Church Hall on Tuesday, May 30, from 6.30pm to 8pm.