Rural vision wins award for green credentials

Published: Friday 8 December 2023

This image shows representatives from the organisations involved in the Hagshaw Energy Cluster following their success at the Scottish Green Energy Awards

An ambitious vision for Douglas Valley, South Lanarkshire and East Ayrshire has won a top green award.

The Development Framework for the Hagshaw Energy Cluster: Planning for Net Zero won a Scottish Green Energy Award in the Sustainable Development category.

Nominated by NatureScot and sponsored by Hitachi Energy, the award was received by members of the project team in attendance from 3REnergy, Baywa R.E., Land Use Consultants, NatureScot and South Lanarkshire Council.

Chair of South Lanarkshire Council’s Community and Enterprise Resources Committee, Councillor Robert Brown, said: “This award is not just recognition for the sustainable elements of the Hagshaw Energy Cluster, but also recognises the hard work put in by a range of partners across the public and private sectors.

“It has rightly been called an ambitious vision, but we have to be ambitious when it comes to renewable energy development.

“Congratulations to everyone involved in winning the award, and I am sure this is just the first of many positive developments that will be realised by the cluster.”

The Development Framework for the Hagshaw Energy Cluster: Planning for Net Zero, focuses on the landscape in and around the Cluster and covers the communities of Coalburn, Douglas, Glespin, Lesmahagow, Muirkirk and Rigside. It outlines a strategic and collaborative approach to renewable energy development that can help the area achieve a Just Transition to Net Zero.

It identifies opportunities such as the creation of a Regional Renewable Energy Hub, community transport initiatives, active travel and recreational routes, restored peatlands, enhanced historic and urban environment, skilled green energy jobs and improved recreational opportunities.

The process was led by NatureScot and delivered by Land Use Consultants, with key contributions from South Lanarkshire Council, East Ayrshire Council, Architecture & Design Scotland, local communities, landowners and windfarm developers within the cluster near Hagshaw Hill, including Cumberhead, Cumberhead West, Dalquhandy, Douglas West, Douglas West Extension, Galawhistle, Hagshaw Hill (and Extension) and Nutberry.

Community benefits from the windfarms in the Cluster are available, through South Lanarkshire Council Renewable Energy Fund grants, Coalburn, Douglas and Glespin Community Fund, ORIT Cumberhead Community Fund (Lesmahagow and Coalburn), Dalquhandy Coalburn Fund, ScottishPower Renewables’ Hagshaw Hill WindfarmTrust (Coalburn, Douglas, Glespin and surrounding area), Spirit of Lanarkshire Wind Energy Coop (SOLWEC) Community Fund. Microgrants are also available from Community Councils / Tenants and Residents Association.

More information about the background on the framework can be found in this previous SL View story.

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