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Saturday, 23 August 2014

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Windfarm firm plans jobs boost

THE company behind plans for a £17m windfarm near Whitehaven has promised to offer apprenticeships to 15 young people as part of the scheme.

Banks Renewables expects to be told by Copeland Council in the summer whether it can build six turbines just outside Moresby Parks.

The firm has promised that 65 jobs will be created thanks to the scheme, 15 of which will be apprentice places for local youngsters.

Banks has agreed a tie-up with Lakes College, Lillyhall, for the college to provide training and educational support for the project, known as Weddicar Rigg.

College principal Cath Richardson said: “Our discussions with Banks have established some significant community benefits resulting in at least 15 apprenticeships for local people.

“If it’s approved, funding would be provided to support the development of a community apprenticeship scheme with the potential for further growth as the project develops.

“The windfarm could also offer support for our teaching programme, providing access to planners, developers and work on construction sites. This would greatly enhance aspects of our curriculum delivery and our student experience.

“It could also offer significant opportunities in terms of skills development and employment for young people and unemployed adults and fits with key strategic priorities for regeneration and opportunities for the people of West Cumbria.”

Phil Dyke, development director for Banks Renewables, said: “We’re grateful for the college’s support for our planning application and for its recognition of the many benefits that this scheme would bring to the local area.

“Sharing the benefits of the schemes that we operate with the communities in which they are situated in this way is part of Banks’ long-term policy for ensuring that local people gain tangible, long-term advantages from our presence.

“Weddicar Rigg is a well-designed and sensibly-sited scheme and we’re hopeful that its merits will be recognised when it is assessed by the planning committee.”

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