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EDF ranger Stephen Reeves
EDF ranger Stephen Reeves

Big Step Forward for Dorenell Footpath Project

  • Date published: 21/02/24
  • Related fund: Dorenell

A major legacy project to develop a network of local walking routes has taken a big step forward, thanks to an award of £269,400 from the Dorenell Wind Farm Community Fund, provided by EDF Renewables UK and administered by Foundation Scotland.

The award will fund a part-time contract for two years, to oversee the implementation of the Dorenell Community Links Path project, to improve access in the fund area. The award also provides a budget for initial capital works to create the path network.  This follows on from a design and feasibility study carried out last year, which demonstrated widespread support for the path links and improvements and investigated options to link the communities in the fund area with each other and with neighboring villages and long-distance walking routes.

The project has been commissioned by the Dorenell Wind Farm Community Fund decision-making panel which is made up of local volunteers. A steering group, which includes panel members, local rangers, and access officers has been set up to develop and manage the project.

Panel member and representative from Dufftown & District Community Association June Donald said:

"The steering group has devoted both time and consideration to the enlargement and improvement of the path networks, both across and between the fund areas. The project will deliver, over several years, the desired outcomes of improved access, with consequent health benefits, to local users - existing and new - and making the area more of a desirable destination for the out-door orientated visitor. Funding thoughtful, long-term projects like this should be the 'raison d'etre' of community funds like Dorenell. The legacy delivered by such investment will benefit generations to come and be perceived as the visionary and socially impactful work that it is."

The contract to develop the project is currently being advertised.  Click here to find out more information and how to apply.

A number of other awards were made from the most recent funding round for Dorenell Wind Farm Community Fund including £20,000 to Glenlivet Hall to purchase a ride-on mower to help maintain the grounds, and also to und a feasibility study on options to upgrade the hall to improve energy efficiency and create a more sustainable and functional community space.

A total of £29,925 was awarded to Autism & Neurodiversity Scotland to support local families, an award of £2,500 will contribute to the costs of resurfacing Rothes Tennis Club courts, an award of £3,930 will contribute to the Speyside Children's Arts Festival in summer 2024.

The Dorenell Wind Farm Community Fund is provided by EDF Renewables UK.  EDF Renewables UK, Director of Asset Operations, Piero Maggio said:

"We are delighted to support a number of local causes of various sizes through the most recent round of funding from the wind farm. The Dorenell Community Links Paths Project will make a big difference to the wider community, encouraging more people to get out and about into the countryside and enjoy their surroundings."

Projects that benefit the communities of Dufftown, Auchindoun, Glenrinnes, Glenlivet, Inveravon, or Cabrach can still apply for funding of up to £30,000 for projects and activities that are charitable in nature, community-led and that will benefit local residents. Grant awards are recommended by a panel of representatives drawn from those communities.

The deadlines for the Dorenell Wind Farm Community Fund year ahead are: 31st March, 31st July, and 30th November.

Dorenell also provides funding for microgrant schemes which are run by each of the community associations involved in setting up and running the Fund: Cabrach Communities Association; Dufftown & District Community Association; Glenlivet & Inveravon Community Association and Glenrinnes Community Cenrel.

These microgrants allow smaller groups to apply for up to £1,000 for events, activities, equipment, and projects. More information is available from local community associations.