SSE RENEWABLES donated almost £300,000 to 20 local charities and community groups in the Scottish Borders in the last year, once again demonstrating the commitment the company is showing to local communities.

The contribution is revealed in SSE Renewables’ 2022/23 Community Investment Review, which were published last week.

In total SSE Renewables donated £279,621 to 18 local charities and community groups.

SSE Renewables is Scotland’s largest renewable energy developer, owner and operator and was the first to make a commitment to invest its profits back into local communities.

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For 20 years, they have worked with local communities to fund legacy projects which make a lasting difference on the local area.

Stephen Wheeler, Managing Director of SSE Renewables, said: “SSE Renewables is committed to investing in Scottish Borders communities. We believe that renewables should provide value for communities, and we are proud we re-invest our profits into local areas.

“The communities of the Scottish Borders continue to show that local decision making provides the best legacy from renewables and we are pleased the projects will make a lasting difference.”

Local groups in the Scottish Borders area have benefited from the Clyde Wind Farm community investment fund, which is valued up to £58m and is one of Europe’s biggest operational wind farms.

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Among the community causes to have benefited is Tweedsmuir Village Hall, which provides sports classes, social events, and community meeting spaces.

The community is committed to ensuring their assets support the Scottish transition to net zero and have been awarded £49,274 to make significant improvement to the village hall, including enhanced insulation, solar panels and battery storage.

The completed works have enabled the hall to benefit from 6MW of solar-generated renewable energy and the improvements to the hall are vital during the current cost of living crisis with winter warmers held to provide hot meals and a warm space to vulnerable local residents.

Lesley Kirkwood, Chairperson, Tweedsmuir Village Hall, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have received funding from Clyde Wind Farm and SSE Renewables. It has allowed us to install PV panels and battery storage as well as refurbishing and improving the structure of the roof.

“The impact will be felt well into the future, keeping running costs low, helping to reduce our carbon footprint, encouraging the local community to look at renewable energy options, while continuing to deliver the valuable work we do for the community in the hall.”

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Other local projects to have been awarded funding include Upper Tweed Community Enterprise, who were awarded £53,326 to convert part of village hall into a shop and Stow Bowling Club who received £15,321 to replace their flood lights.

The Southern Uplands Partnership was awarded £4,630 to produce a short film about Talla-Hartfell Wild Land Area and the Skirling Community Council was awarded £14,000 to employ the services of a consultant to undertake a community action plan.

The Tweedsmuir Upper Tweed and Biggar Community First Responders were awarded £6248 to expand the Borders ambulance response area.

The Broughton Primary School Parent Council was awarded £3,420 to fund a P7 Residential Camp.

The Upper Tweed Community Council was awarded £2,500 to provide a Youth Bursary allowance.

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Skirling Village Hall was awarded £1,180 to deliver a first aid course for local parents.

Bird Gardens Scotland was awarded £14,394 to install accessible toilets and extend the path networks at Oxton Bird Gardens.

Channelkirk Senior Citizens were awarded £8,000 to pay for outings.

Stow and District Pensioners Society were awarded £5,000 to fund various events.

Fountainhall Parents Council were awarded £2,000 to provide a variety of fun and engaging activities for the community.

And the Parish of Stow, Upper Tweed and Skirling Community Councils were awarded funds to provide Micro Grants of up to £500.