Uralla Grants open for first round of funding
The $100,000 Uralla Grants program was formally launched today, as part of a program to share the benefits of the New England Solar Farm with the Uralla Shire, Dangarsleigh and Kellys Plains communities. Representatives from the local community and the New England Solar Farm were joined today by the Uralla Shire Mayor Michael Pearce and General Manager of Uralla Shire Council Kate Jessep to mark the important milestone.
Grants of up to $5,000 will be available for local community projects or initiatives under the first round of the Uralla Grants program which was opened for applications today. The total funding for the first round of grants will be capped at $50,000, with a second $50,000 round of funding to be made available in the second half of next year.
Individuals or organisations located in Uralla Shire and parts of Dangarsleigh and Kellys Plains are eligible to apply for funding, with the first round open for applications for the next month.
The Uralla Grants program is being funded by the New England Solar Farm. It is part of the Community Benefit Sharing Initiative, which was conceived during the planning process for the New England Solar Farm. Members of a local Community Reference Group helped design the grants program and will oversee the final selection of successful applications.
CRG member Sandra Eady said the Uralla Grants program is the first step in what will be an exciting range of initiatives, conceived and developed by the local community for the local community.
“The grants could support a range of projects from facility upgrades, local sporting or education programs or energy efficiency or beautification projects. We hope to see a broad range of proposals that provide maximum benefit to different parts of our local community and encourage potential applicants to get working on their proposals. Our community has faced the impacts of the drought, bushfires and now COVID-19 over the past 12 months. These grants will make a positive contribution back into our community.”
UPC\AC Renewables Australia Head of Solar Development Killian Wentrup said Uralla Grants was part of an ongoing program of community support.
“We want to thank our CRG members for their hard work in helping to develop this exciting initiative which will help ensure the solar farm benefits the local community. To fund the initiative, we’ll be allocating $250 for every megawatt of power generating capacity installed at the solar farm every year for its 25-year working life. The $100,000 Uralla Grants program will kick start that support in the first year of construction, which would ramp up to $180,000 per annum once the 720MW is fully operational. The New England Solar Farm and battery project will create up to 700 jobs during peak construction and local businesses and suppliers will have opportunity to work on the project. The jobs created and the funding provided by the Uralla Grants program will flow through to both local businesses and the community, helping to grow the local economy and support community initiatives.”
For more information go to the Uralla Grants Information page.