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Turbine helps provide remote Highland community with energy during Covid-19 crisis

The Coigach turbine is now helping to generate crisis funds for the community.
The Coigach turbine is now helping to generate crisis funds for the community.

A small and remote Highland community is helping itself during the coronavirus pandemic with the assistance of green energy.

The virus has left many of the 270-strong population of Coigach, in the far north west Highlands, facing hardship after being forced to stop working.

Many are self-employed and rely on tourism for their main income.

They can, however, now apply to a crisis fund, which is using income from the community-owned wind turbine, to help with basic household expenses.

The first payment was made within two hours of the fund opening and several other grants have since been handed over.

It is hoped initial weekly payments of £300, plus £50 per child, will support families  not eligible for emergency government funding.

Iain Muir, chairman of the Coigach Community Development Company, said: “We were aware that some people were in dire straits because of the loss of income during the Covid-19 outbreak.

“Government assistance may be on the way, but there may be a lag in getting that if you are eligible.

“We therefore wanted to make available funds from the turbine to protect the community.”

The turbine was installed three years ago and has since generated around £500,000 for local initiatives.

The development company is also helping vulnerable residents with shopping and collecting medicine, and a textile worker making face masks.

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