Renewable energy protecting the past as well as the future 

In a move that sees renewable energy protecting the past as well as the future, Stonehouse Heritage Group, South Lanarkshire, is set to benefit from a recent Renewable Energy Fund that will allow the team to continue to improve its work at Kype Muir Wind Farm. 

A recent £6,000 Renewable Energy Fund (REF) grant from South Lanarkshire Council and Hamilton employer Banks Renewables will enable the group to improve its website, where it stores all of its historical information for members and the wider public.   

The group’s website has become an integral part of the Stonehouse community, providing village and family history research as well as a social record of life in the village around the late 1800s.   

A massive boost for the future 

Robert Freel joined Stonehouse Heritage Group a few years after its founding and has been heavily involved in the project ever since. He said: “To receive this grant is absolutely massive for the future of the group. With the funding, we’ve been able to completely revamp our website. This expensive process has enabled us to store hundreds upon hundreds of historical photos and records, enabling people all around the world to learn about Stonehouse’s history. 

“We will also be investing a proportion of the fund into scanning important documents so that we can share copies of the historical information on the site.” 

The voluntary group and registered charity have collated information on Stonehouse’s heritage dating back to the late 1600s, available on its website and Facebook group for members and the public to find out about their ancestry as well as the town’s historical past. 

Robert added: “We’re hoping that by making these improvements, we will be able to attract younger members, raise the profile of the group and continue to discover new layers of Stonehouse’s history.” 

Farm to produce power to meet the needs of 100,000 homes 

The Stonehouse Heritage Group applied for the funding from the REF from Banks Renewables and South Lanarkshire Council which is part of Banks’ Connect2Renewables initiative, which commits Banks to maximise social, economic and environmental benefits to communities which host its projects. 

The group also received a further £4,000 grant from Banks’ Kype Muir Community Partnership Fund to continue to improve the project, with a hope to attract younger members to join the group to ensure longevity. 

Over the course of its 30-year lifetime, Kype Muir wind farm, and its extension, is set to give over £100 million back to communities close to the development through the likes of community funding, local employment initiatives and infrastructure contributions, and will have a combined installed generating capacity of over 150MW of electricity per annum.  This is enough to meet the needs of over 100,000 homes, or over 200,000 people or a city larger than Aberdeen. 

Robin Winstanley, sustainability and external affairs manager at Banks Renewables, said: “We’re delighted to have contributed to such a great project that highlights the importance of community and history in the small village of Stonehouse. 

“The work that the group is doing to constantly make new and important discoveries about the village’s history is essential to the community.  
“The team at Banks feel privileged to be able to support this cause and is excited to see what comes next from Stonehouse Heritage Group.”