Fourteen projects supported by the first round of the Uralla Grants program
Fourteen projects supporting the local Uralla community have today been awarded funding as part of the first round of the New England Solar Farm’s Uralla Grants program.
The projects provide support for health and sporting services, local indigenous and non-indigenous historical awareness, environmental education, and community events.
Members of the New England Solar Farm Community Reference Group helped design the Uralla Grants program and oversee the grant selection process. The grant program is part of the Community Benefit Sharing Initiative, which was conceived during the planning process for the New England Solar Farm.
Community Reference Group Member Sandra Eady said the fourteen projects would share $50,000 under the first funding round.
"There was a very good cross section of applications to choose from, which was encouraging given that the Uralla Grants program was a new concept for the community, we were able to choose a diverse range of projects to support that provide benefits across a wide cross section of the local community. On behalf of the Community Reference Group, I would like to thank all the applicants for their very high-quality proposals.”
The Uralla Grants program is funded by the New England Solar Farm and battery project which is being developed by UPC\AC Renewables Australia. Construction of the Stage one 400MW solar farm is expected to begin early 2021.
New England Solar Farm Project Director Tim Greenaway said Uralla Grants was part of a program designed to help share the benefits of the solar farm with the wider community.
“The New England Solar Farm will create up to 700 jobs during peak construction, provide extra income for landholders and help provide opportunities for local businesses and suppliers. Our Community Program, including Uralla Grants, will help the wider community also benefit from the solar farm and battery project.
I would like to thank the members of our Community Reference Group for their hard work and congratulate the successful applicants for their outstanding submissions.”
A second $50,000 round of the Uralla Grants program will be open for applications in the second half of next year.
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.