A SOUTH Lanarkshire social club at the heart of a former mining community is being refurbished after receiving a grant of more than £65,000 from a local wind farm fund.
Founded in 1925, Coalburn Miners’ Welfare Charitable Society, which runs the town’s social club, has been playing an important role in providing resources and leadership to the local community for more than 90 years.
The £65,000 grant was awarded from the Renewable Energy Fund (REF) administered by South Lanarkshire Council which receives money from wind farms including the nearby Banks Renewables wind farm at Kype Muir.
The grant has enabled the group to transform their social club – renovating its upstairs and downstairs halls, two toilets, games room and lounge.
The REF grant contributed part of the total £131,000 of funding received by Coalburn Miners’ Welfare from a variety of other funders.
The social club is extremely well used, with around 200 members and contains the only function suite and public bar in the town. All the profits made through the social club are fed back to the charitable society to enable it to continue to serve the surrounding community.
Councillor George Greenshields, Project Manager at Coalburn Miners Welfare and independent councillor for Clydesdale South on South Lanarkshire Council said: “The social club was in need of a serious upgrade so we were over the moon to have received such a vital source of funding.
“As a result of the funding, we’ve now been able to improve the building massively so we can continue to make so many events and activities accessible to all around South Lanarkshire.
“The building really has become essential to the local community. The social club is a valuable space where plenty of good memories have been made.”
With many of the town’s population being members of the charitable society, the club holds everything from weddings and parties to yoga and IT classes.
George added: “Because the club is extremely well used and versatile, we needed to get it done up so we can continue to provide a good quality space. We’re very grateful to have been awarded the REF grant which has supported us with this work.”
The Coalburn Miners’ Welfare Charitable Society applied for the funding from the REF from Banks Renewables and South Lanarkshire Council. This is part of Banks’ Connect2Renewables initiative, which commits the renewables firm to maximise social, economic and environmental benefits to communities which host its projects.
Robin Winstanley, sustainability and external affairs manager at Banks Renewables, said: “There are so many valuable benefits that the Coalburn Miners’ Welfare brings to the local community.
“To be able to contribute to this renovation was a real pleasure. It’s brilliant to see the impact a wind farm can have on the wider community, especially with a community asset like this which means so much to the people of Coalburn.”
With a generating capacity of over 150MW of electricity – (enough to meet the needs of over 110,000 homes or the city the size of Aberdeen), the Kype Muir wind farm is set to give over £100 million back to local communities over its lifetime, through community funding, local employment initiatives and infrastructure contributions.