Young footballers at one of the oldest amateur clubs in the south of Scotland have landed a £5000 windfall to improve safety at its new 3G pitch.

Established in 1879 and playing a key role in the heritage of the Kirkcudbright community, St Cuthbert Wanderers Football Club has welcomed cash help to provide vital new fencing around its training facilities.

‘The Saints’, as they are locally known, have previously scored funding thanks to Banks, Renewables, which recently submitted a planning application to create the seven turbine Knockendurrick Wind Farm, east of Gatehouse of Fleet.

It is the second time Banks Renewables has stepped into assist the thriving community club, after earlier providing £1000 in funding for vital training equipment.

Chairman at St Cuthbert Wanderers Football Club, Richard Davis, said; “We are absolutely delighted to have received more support from Banks Renewables.

“Our new 3G pitch sits right on the edge of the tidal estuary which can be a cause for safety concerns, particularly during the winter when the evenings are dark.

“When the floodlights are on it can be difficult to see where the ball goes if it is kicked out so fencing will be absolutely crucial to protect our junior players.

“The new 3G pitch means that, no matter what the Scottish weather throws at us, we are able to train come sunshine or rain so it will make a real difference to our team’s training schedule.

“In order to comply with the Scottish Football Association’s regulations, we needed to build the fence, so it is great to have had this partially funded by Banks Renewables.

“On behalf of our players and supporters, I’d like to thank Banks Renewables for its continued support which really exemplifies its commitment to local causes.”

The club competes in the Dumfries and Galloway Youth League and has a total of six teams made up of 90 children between the ages of eight and 15.

In addition to St Cuthbert Wanderers, the pitch is also used by the wider community with Kirkcudbright Academy using it throughout the week. It also recently staged the Dumfries Schools Football Tournament.

Banks Renewables has adopted a Community Partnership approach to the Knockendurrick scheme, which would see the community benefit from a 3% share of the wind farm’s gross revenue, estimated to be worth £6.5 million over 25 years.

That money would be directed into projects identified and backed by local people, including job and training creation schemes. Banks Renewables is in discussions with Dumfries & Galloway Council and with local colleges and businesses to agree how best to deliver a targeted employment and training initiative.

Elsewhere the local community’s share of wind farm revenues could also be invested into providing vital community infrastructure, delivery of major environmental projects and direct funding into community groups.

Meanwhile, it is estimated that construction work on the site would inject at least £5 million into the local economy, because Banks Renewables has committed to using local firms wherever possible as part of the project, creating meaningful job opportunities in the area.

Contracts would be required for construction and maintenance, ground works, quarry and building products, plant hire and haulage, waste solutions, fencing, fabrication, accommodation, aggregates, utilities, professional services, hospitality and many more services.

Colin Anderson, development director at Banks Renewables, said: “It’s a great feeling to help out St Cuthbert’s because it is such a valuable and worthwhile part of the local community.

“Having supported them with past projects we know what fantastic opportunities the club offers its young players, providing them with a whole host of valuable skills.

“With such a long and established history in the area, it is great to see the team go from strength to strength and we are delighted to be able to help improve the safety of its new pitch.

“At the heart of the community the club is exactly the type of organisation that our community fund was designed to help and we are delighted to have further cemented our relationship with the club through this.”  

The planning application for Knockendurrick Wind Farm, which could generate up to 23.8MW of energy, was submitted to Dumfries and Galloway Council in September 2013. Further information on the proposed site can be found at http://www.banksgroup.co.uk/knockendurrick/

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

The £5000 grant for St Cuthbert’s was made via the Banks Community Fund, which 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.

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