Cumnock’s community renewable energy project progresses

PLANS to create Scotland’s first net zero carbon, energy self-efficient community in Cumnock have taken a ‘massive leap forward’, East Ayrshire Council has said.

It comes following the UK and Scottish Governments approving the outline business case for the project, which paves the way for the creation of a full business case for the community renewable energy project (CoRE) – bringing it ‘one step closer’ to a reality.

The facility is a renewables project which would look to build on Cumnock’s natural resources in order to provide a self-sustaining network of low cost energy from renewable sources.

It is being funded with £17 million from UK Government funding and £7.5 million from East Ayrshire Council, as part of the £251.5 million Ayrshire growth deal – which is a 10-year investment programme jointly funded by the UK and Scottish Governments and local authorities.

East Ayrshire Council said, “The aim of the initiative is to regenerate the area and give it a green future after the demise of coal mining in the area. It seeks to stimulate community wealth building and to help reach ambitious national and global targets in order to make all local communities, buildings, transport and waste management carbon neutral by 2045, setting a bold example in the race to become a net zero carbon area.

“This highly innovative project aims to position Cumnock as the ‘go-to’ community in terms of the future of energy production and distribution for rural areas. The project will help to reduce carbon emissions in the home, businesses and the environment as a whole and provide educational and career opportunities for young people.

“It will also boost equalities by tackling fuel poverty, improving the carbon footprint of both private and social housing stocks and bolstering the local economy with a secure supply of reliable, cost effective and low carbon energy solutions.”