WORK on what will be ­Britain's largest community-owned wind farm is under way on the island of Lewis with funding of more than £14 million finally agreed.

The wind farm is being built by Point and Sandwick Development Trust at Beinn Ghrideag outside Stornoway.

It is expected to be operational by next February to generate enough energy for more than 6,000 homes. Its annual gross turnover is estimated at about £3 million.

The wind farm will return 100 per cent of its profit to the community development fund. Over 25 years, it is estimated this will be about £35 million net in real terms.

A total of 90 per cent of the funding is borrowing, with backers included Santander, the Scottish Enterprise REIF fund, The Big Lottery and Social Investment Scotland.

Point and Sandwick ­Development Manager Calum MacDonald, the former Labour MP for the Western Isles, said: "This is a breakthrough project for community energy in terms of its size and also the ­innovative way in which it has been financed. It has been a long journey since we started back in 2005 but we have overcome all the obstacles that were put in our way.

"We are very grateful for the fantastic support we have received from our ­technical and legal advisors, SgurrEnergy and HBJ ­Gateley, and also from our key funding partners.

"This demonstrates there is no limit as to what can be achieved by community enterprises in the renewables sector and we hope our success will encourage other communities in the islands, in Scotland and right across Britain to think big."