Berrybank Wind Farm community grants announced

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Six community projects will gain momentum with the announcement of $87,102 in grants as part of the newly-launched Berrybank Wind Farm Grants program.

Funds for this first round of grants are provided by the Berrybank Wind Farm with the program administered by Corangamite Shire Council alongside its own annual grant programs.

At its monthly meeting on 26 July, Corangamite Shire Council accepted the advice of the Berrybank Wind Farm Grants Committee, approving funding which will kickstart important community projects at Skipton, Lismore, Darlington and Cressy.

A Berrybank Leverage Grant of $30,000 will give the Darlington Mechanics Institute Hall Committee of Management help to restump the Darlington Hall. Another Leverage Grant, of $15,000, will help the Cressy and District History Group move forward with its Water Tower Public Art Project.

A third Leverage Grant, of $16,187, was approved for the Lismore Men’s Shed for construction of ramps, handrails and shelter.

A Berrybank Project Grant of $8,600 was approved for the Skipton Memorial Pool Committee’s proposed installation of a basketball half-court. The Lismore Land Protection Group will receive $9,860 for improving ecological connectivity through revegetation. The Lismore Recreation Reserve Committee secured $7,485 for restoration of the Thomas Seymour memorial gates.

Project Grants of up to $10,000 per annum and Leverage Grants of up to $25,000 were on offer to support community projects which deliver significant social, environmental or economic benefits. The Leverage Grants allow community groups time to seek additional or matching funding from other grant funding bodies for larger scale projects.

“The Berrybank Wind Farm Grants Program will provide annual funding for a minimum of 15 years to support beneficial community projects within 75 kilometres of the development to the value of $1.5 m, in addition to $1.5 m already distributed for community infrastructure projects.” North Ward Councillor Nick Cole said.

“This first round of the Berrybank Wind Farm Grants was heavily over-subscribed,” Councillor Cole reported, “so it was not possible to fund all worthwhile projects.”

Cr Cole, who excused himself from the vote to because of his volunteer involvement with the Darlington Mechanics Institute Hall, thanked his fellow Councillors for supporting for the program which would be of immense benefit to the people of North Ward.

GPG Community Engagement Officer, Philip Beattie said: “GPG is proud to provide funds for community projects as part of the Berrybank Stage 1 Community Engagement and Benefit Sharing Plan and we look forward to these grants making a difference in our local communities”

Applications for the second round of grants will open in April 2023.

Pictured, left to right: Corangamite Shire Councillor Nick Cole, Val Lang (Lismore Land Protection Group), GPG Community Engagement Officer Phil Beattie, Trish Wynd (Darlington Mechanics Institute Hall committee), Shari McConachy (Lismore Recreation Reserve committee), Jim Anderson (Lismore Men’s Shed), Jessica Mulcahy (Skipton Pool committee) and Stan Foote (Lismore Men’s Shed).

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