The developer of a 116-turbine wind farm off the Sussex coast will plough £4 million into the community, it was revealed today (November 7).
Rampion Offshore Wind Farm said it is to invest £800,000 into a visitor centre on Brighton seafront, a £3.1 million fund for local projects to benefit the Sussex community, and a £100,000 donation to local RNLI stations.
The wind farm, which is 13km off the Sussex coast, saw the final turbine installed in September. When the project is fully operational in 2018, it is set to provide enough electricity to supply almost 347,000 homes a year.
The Rampion Visitor Centre will be in the seafront arches just east of the i360 in Brighton, and is set to open in mid to late 2018.
The community benefit fund will be managed by Sussex Community Foundation, a local grant-making charity. Grants of between £1,000 and £10,000 will be available, with higher grants up to £50,000 for larger capital projects.
The Rampion Fund at Sussex Community Foundation has been made available to support the local community from Littlehampton Harbour in the west, to Beachy Head in the east and up to the A272 near Twineham in the north, close to the wind farm’s onshore substation. It is designed to help fund local projects particularly those with links to the environment and ecology, climate change and energy, as well as those that work to improve community facilities.
Chris Tomlinson, development and stakeholder manager for the Rampion Offshore Wind Farm, said: “We’re delighted to be able to launch the Rampion Fund being managed by Sussex Community Foundation. Our aim is to make a real difference to people living in the area surrounding the wind farm and we hope many organisations will apply to the fund to support their local Sussex projects.
“We’re also happy to be able to announce the location of the Rampion Visitor Centre, due to open later next year. The newly refurbished seafront arches in Brighton were chosen due to their view of the wind farm, high footfall location and excellent public transport connections, as well as their size of floor space, which will allow us to house exhibitions and interactive displays for visitors to learn more about wind energy and discover the whole Rampion story.”
Kevin Richmond, chief executive of Sussex Community Foundation, said: “We’re pleased to be chosen to work with Rampion to help manage this community fund.
“This fund will have a very positive long term impact for local charities and community groups. We are excited to be managing it and we will make sure that it reaches the local groups that most need the funding. The deadline for the first round of grant making is Friday 12th January 2018 and the full criteria can be found on our website.”
For more information about the Rampion Fund at Sussex Community Foundation, or to apply, visit: sussexgiving.org.uk/rampion or call 01273 409440.