ECO-friendly firm Dewlay is to celebrate the first anniversary of the construction of its controversial giant wind turbine by giving big cash grants for other green projects in Garstang and district.
With four months to go before the anniversary in September, Dewlay bosses, encouraged by their own investment and the largely positive feedback are planning to set up a ‘Go Green’ fund which will see cash handed to smaller scale eco-friendly projects.
Details of how local groups can apply for the green projects cash will be released by the A6-based cheese company later this month - but it is certain to benefit some of the many eco-projects in the district, including those being planned by schools and voluntary groups in the area.
Dewlay has yet to put a figure on the amount it will be donating, but it is though likely to total several thousands of pounds.
Dewlay’s managing director, Nick Kenyon, said: “With regards to the monetary value, we will be asking for groups to state the total cost of their particular project and how much they would like the fund to donate, so really it will vary greatly depending on the project.”
Explaining the company’s planned generosity, Mr Kenyon said: “We are aware that the turbine has created much interest and that on the whole the local community do now see it as part of Garstang.
“As we are a local firm and proud of our Garstang heritage as the cheesemaker of Garstang, we want to be able to give something back to the community and so we are launching the Go Green Fund.
“The core values of the fund are to support and develop local community groups by funding project initiatives in the community.
“This could vary from energy saving schemes and carbon reduction projects to green planting projects and ‘clean up’ schemes carried out around Garstang and the surrounding area.”
The first recipents of the awards, drawn from the local community groups, schools and voluntary groups which apply will coincide with the first anniversary of the turbine’s opening in September. Cheques will be presented at an open day to be held at Dewlay.
Dewlay is also planning to issue details of how much the wind turbine has saved the company in creating green energy during its first year of operation.
Mr Kenyon said: “The wind turbine was years in the pipeline, and has always been critical to Dewlay to create a stable energy source. The turbine has enabled us to secure energy prices, but also the future security of the company and its jobs, as we remain competitive in the market place by continuing to be a successful Lancashire cheesemaker.”
As revealed in last week’s Courier the company’s green credentials were added to recently when more than 10 per cent of the work force agreed to cycle to work instead of travelling by car - including Mr Kenyon, a keen cyclist.
Mr Kenyon said: “Looking at feedback and interest in the community regarding the turbine we have always had a very positive response from the community.
“Nearly 12 months on and we still regularly hear from people who are in support and are complimentary of the turbine, whether this is through emails, word of mouth or people visiting the factory.”
* Look out in The Courier soon for details of how to apply for Dewlay’s ‘green grants.”
* Comment, page six.