Bids are being formally invited to help manage a multi-million pound pioneering wind industry community fund, on behalf of the coastal communities of North Wales.
RWE Innogy UK’s flagship offshore wind farm, Gwynt y Môr, has launched a major tender process to identify a suitable organisation to administer its £19million Community Fund.
The 160 turbine wind farm, being constructed more than eight miles off the North Wales coast, is accompanied by the sizable fund which will provide an opportunity to make a significant, long term and positive impact on sustainable development in North Wales.
In 2011/12, RWE Innogy UK funded a consultation exercise that engaged with more than 1,000 people and organisations, to understand the potential priorities of the fund, and how it should be structured and operated. The results demonstrated support for projects that will help young people, improve skills, create jobs and regenerate the local area.
The first stage to procure an administrative body is now underway with applicants invited to complete a pre-qualifying questionnaire.
RWE Innogy UK Investment Officer, Katy Woodington, said: “Launching a tender process to identify the most appropriate organisation to run this substantial fund is an important step in ensuring this money is used in responsible, innovative,
exciting and sustainable ways in North Wales.
“This process follows regular meetings with the Gwynt y Môr Community Funding Advisory Group comprising representatives from local authorities, colleges, businesses, social enterprise, voluntary sector and Welsh Government.
“It is important to understand that this process is not for organisations wanting to apply for funds, as the money will not be available until Gwynt y Môr is fully operational.”
The substantial Community Fund of £768,000 per year, index linked to inflation, will become available once Gwynt y Môr Offshore Wind Farm is completely operational, with the first full payment expected in 2015.
Organisations wishing to apply to administrate the Gwynt y Môr Community Fund have until 24th July to register.
Details of the pre-qualifying questionnaire process will be sent to those registered and it will need to be returned by 20th August. Those identified as suitable will be invited to tender to run the fund, with a decision expected later in the autumn.