Eco2 cash to be used to help communities

A COMMUNITY group is being set up to oversee the distribution of funds generated by the new straw-powered power station at Sleaford.

Eco2, which is currently building a renewable energy plant on Boston Road, has made available almost £300,000 for a range of initiatives, including the Community Wellbeing Agreement set up by North Kesteven District Council for the communities affected by the plant.

Among the community benefits that will be availbable through the agreement will be £40,000 a year over three years to be committed equally between Sleaford and Kirkby la Thorpe on community projects.

A £20,000 sustainability fund wil be set aside for building a mobile exhibition for use in schools to promote awareness of green energy and energy efficiency, while a £50,000 public arts fund will be used to commission and install a piece of art for the plant entrance to depict the importance of sustainable energy.

A sum of £10,000 wil pay for the creation of an urban walks scheme to link pieces of art around the town and a further £10,000 will be available to support Kirkby la Thorpe Primary School.

To support the employment of seven apprentices working on the plant’s construction and operation, £75,000 has been set aside.

A panel will be involved in administering £205,000 of this money for community projects.

The panel will be made up of the developers, two members from North Kesteven District Council, one each from Sleaford Town Council and Kirkby la Thorpe Parish Council, plus the chairman of the Sleaford Regeneration Group. They will have responsibility for making decisions on where the community monies are directed.

NKDC representatives on the Sleaford Renewable Energy Plant Liaison Panel will be the local ward member for Kirkby la Thorpe, Coun David Dickinson, and executive member with responsibility for sustainability, Coun Richard Wright.

The agreement has also been varied in a number of ways from when it was originally agreed in 2009. Free heat from the plant, which can no longer be supplied to the National Centre for Craft & Design, will now be directed to Sleaford Town Football Club and Eslaforde Park Bowls Club, who both play at Eslaforde Park on Boston Road, Sleaford Leisure Centre, North Kesteven District Council offices and William Alvey Primary School.

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