A project that will improve paths and picnic areas for walkers on the Southern Upland Way has kicked-off with funding from Kilgallioch Windfarm. Dumfries-based MCL Construction has been selected by windfarm operator ScottishPower Renewables to carry out the work.
As part of the planning consent for Kilgallioch, one of the largest windfarms in Scotland, ScottishPower Renewables agreed to deliver a package of improvements on a section of the path that runs through the windfarm.
The project has recently started, and is due to be completed before the end of 2017.
The full range of upgrades includes:
- 3 kilometers of new path construction between the Laggangarn Standing Stones, to the public road access on the east side of the windfarm. This section of the route runs up to the highest point in the windfarm, on Craig Airie Fell.
- 1.5 kilometers of existing path remediation from the Standing Stones, to the most southerly access point on the windfarm.
- The creation of a new picnic area at the top of Craig Airlie Fell
- The supply of a new picnic table outside the Beehive Bothy
ScottishPower Renewables has also committed over £1.25 million to Dumfries & Galloway Council over the operational life of Kilgallioch Windfarm to help fund SUW Rangers who will focus on the promotion, management and upkeep of the SUW as a recreational and tourism resource across Dumfries & Galloway.
Kenny Peberdy, UK Onshore Director for ScottishPower Renewables, said: “We are pleased to have appointed MCL, who have a wealth of experience in delivering environmental improvement works. The Southern Upland Way is a national treasure, with thousands of people enjoying the beautiful coast-to-coast walk every year, so we hope this project adds to the experience. The community benefit agreement for Kilgallioch will see local groups and projects receive £30 million over the next 25 years, and many more important local initiative will be supported by the windfarm.”
Kilgallioch Windfarm was officially opened by ScottishPower Renewables on the 28th September. The project consists of 96 turbines, with a capacity of 239 megawatts (MW), which can supply enough electricity to meet the annual demands of more than 140,000 homes. The project is located between Barrhill, South Ayrshire, and New Luce, Dumfries and Galloway.
Over 2,000 workers and support staff were inducted on the windfarm over a two and a half-year period, with a peak monthly workforce of over 225 personnel.