AN investment firm focused on developing renewable energy infrastructure on former coal mining sites has raised £300 million to build an ambitious wind farm project in East Ayrshire.

Brockwell Energy said last night that it had reached financial close on the North Kyle scheme near Dalmellington in East Ayrshire, on and around the former Chalmerston and House of Water coal mining sites, which will deliver more than 200 megawatts of renewable energy.

The Edinburgh-based investment company devised the project in 2016 as a means of restoring the derelict former mining site and to fund regeneration in the communities of the surrounding areas, declaring that the scheme will deliver £65m in community benefit over 40 years.

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In addition, Brockwell said it has immediately committed to provide an additional £2.6m to help restore the most derelict parts of the original mining site, as well as a further £3.4m to help boost the formation of the 9CCG - a group of nine local councils set up to foster local empowerment and ensure plans deliver benefits to the communities.

Brockwell is funding the North Kyle project from its own resources, following prior project sales, with debt provided by NatWest Group.

It highlighted the support it has received from the local communities, East Ayrshire Council and landowners Forestry Land Scotland and Hargreaves Land Limited in developing the scheme.

Alex Lambie, chief executive of Brockwell Energy, said: “I am immensely proud of our entire Brockwell team, who have delivered this flagship project after many years of diligent planning and design. The wind farm will have the capacity to generate 220.5MW, utilising 49 Vestas V136 turbines, enough to power 18,000 households.

“Not only is the scale of North Kyle of national significance in the push to achieve net zero targets, but the project also promises to be truly game-changing for local communities.

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"The financial support and guidance to the 9CCG will help them establish themselves with sound governance, necessary controls and procedures that ensure funding is directed to projects which provide meaningful and impactful legacy benefits to the surrounding communities.”

Separately, Brockwell has appointed Jones Bros to construct the wind farm. Work is due to begin on June 12 and is expected to take two years.

Paul Newman, Brockwell Energy’s commercial director, said: “We would like to thank Vestas and Jones Bros for their continued support in developing the projects and look forward to working with both parties to successfully deliver North Kyle through the construction period and into operations.

“We also thank the NatWest team for their support in providing the long-term financing of the project.”

Brockwell Energy’s Renewable Solutions business will oversee and manage the delivery of the project.

David Finnon, managing director of BRSL, commented: “Our team have been involved in the development of the project from the outset and have accumulated an intimate understanding of this large and complex site from a design and planning standpoint.

“With the groundwork that has been achieved already, coupled with the skills and expertise in the team, I am confident the project will be delivered safely and efficiently.”