Vital improvements to a community swimming pool can now be made following a sizeable donation from a wind energy company.

Kirkcudbright Swimming Pool, which is 100% community owned and operated, has received a £5000 grant for the replacement of gas boilers from Banks Renewables via the Banks Community Fund.

The Hamilton-based company has submitted plans to create Knockendurrick Wind Farm by erecting seven turbines east of Gatehouse of Fleet.

Thousands of people have learned to swim at the pool, which runs a wide variety of classes every week, including warm water sessions for baby swimming and disabled users and even snorkelling and canoe clubs.
Colin Wyper, Manager of Kirkcudbright Swimming Pool, said; “As a registered charity we are always on the lookout for new funding opportunities and were intrigued when we heard about the Banks Community Fund.
“After applying to the fund we were delighted to receive the good news that we had been granted the money and are now secure in the knowledge that the improvements to the pool will definitely go ahead.
“It’s fantastic to see a company like Banks Renewables putting its money where its mouth is and sticking to its commitment to make a real difference to people living around its sites.
“Although wind farms do seem to drum up a fair bit of bad press, when you have responsible developers like Banks willing to give something back it does make a difference.
“Personally I am glad to see that the Kirkcudbright area is considering such a project and I would like to thank Banks for the generosity it has shown to our community swimming pool.”
The Banks Community Fund provides funding for projects which show a community-wide public benefit. Since its beginnings it has granted £2.6 million in grants and benefited more than 80,000 people. In addition to the swimming pool, the fund has also donated money to one of Kirkcudbright’s oldest football club, St Cuthbert Wanderers.

Banks Renewables has extensive experience of working in partnership with local communities across Scotland and the United Kingdom to successfully design and develop new energy schemes and deliver a range of local economic, social and environmental benefits, tailored to their individual community needs.

Similar projects by the family–owned firm have resulted in the creation of jobs and training initiatives, provision of community infrastructure, and funding of environmental projects and community groups.
Colin Anderson, development director at Banks Renewables, said: “As a completely community run venture, Kirkcudbright Swimming Pool is exactly the type of organisation our fund was designed to help.

“We are delighted to support the swimming pool as it provides jobs for the local community as well as catering for some 40,000 users each year.

“It really is a shining example of how communities can work together to achieve great things and we hope our donation will help sustain its future.

“We have really appreciated the feedback we have received from members of the Kirkcudbright community on our development proposals and we will continue to ensure that we work in partnership with them as our plans progress.

“This could be just the beginning of a whole host of benefits the area could receive should the plans be approved as it is our firm intention to create job opportunities, invest in training schemes and supporting worthwhile local projects.”

Full details about the Knockendurrick Wind Farm can be found at the dedicated website, http://www.banksgroup.co.uk/knockendurrick/.

Projects, community groups, or voluntary organisations in the vicinity of Banks’ proposed Knockendurrick wind farm that are look for capital funding should contact James Eaglesham at the Banks Community Fund to see if their project is eligible on 0191 378 6342 or visit www.banksgroup.co.uk/development-with-care/bankscommunityfund.

Banks Renewables is part of the Banks Group (www.banksgroup.co.uk), a family firm founded in 1976, which now employs more than 420 people in the renewable energy, property and mining sectors.