Armistead wind farm has 'boosted local economy'

SOUTH Lakeland’s newest wind farm has contributed more than £1.1m to the Cumbrian and north Lancashire economy, according to its developers.

During construction of the Armistead turbine complex at Old Hutton, contracts worth £359,000 were awarded to firms based within a 20-mile radius of the site, said Banks Renewables.

New analysis by the company also showed that 20 people were employed on site at any given time during the construction of the wind farm.

Businesses that benefited from the project included building contractors Cox and Allen in Kendal, Grayrigg-based stone walling business Dave Dixon Ltd, Bardon Concrete in Lancaster, Kirkby Lonsdale-based Rhino Scaffolding, and the Orange Tree Hotel, also in Kirkby Lonsdale, where several members of the Banks project team stayed during the construction of the wind farm.

Contracts worth a further £760,000 were also awarded to other suppliers based around Cumbria, including firms in Barrow-in-Furness, Penrith and Maryport.

The six-turbine Armistead scheme, which began generating electricity in April, has also enabled Banks to fund the construction of a new pedestrian footway through Old Hutton. The associated Armistead Wind Farm Community Fund will award grants totalling £12,300 every year for the next 25 years.

Mike Leahy, joint managing director at Kendal-based construction firm Cox and Allen, which won a contract to build the sub-station for the Armistead wind farm, said: “We were very pleased to have won the work for the sub-station building, and it’s very refreshing when a company stands by its policy and actively engages local contractors.

“We’re finding more and more organisations are using regional or national frameworks that are impossible for small local contractors to access, so therefore wish Banks Renewables every success with future projects.”

Phil Dyke, development director at Banks Renewables, said: “We have a long-standing policy of using locally-based suppliers across our projects, so there is a direct economic benefit to the areas in which we’re working, and we were pleased with the impressive range of locally-based expertise that we were able to access for the Armistead project.”

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