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Almost £2m of Loans Awarded to Community Heating Projects

Loans worth £1.9m have been announced to help community heating projects.

The district schemes will heat about 280 homes and are expected to save more than 68,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide over 25 years.

It is part of a pilot project open to councils, housing associations, small businesses and energy service companies.

All nine of the successful projects are for small community biomass heating systems.

Energy minister Fergus Ewing said: "We have a target of 11% of heat demand coming from renewables by 2020.

"But the high start-up costs involved can mean schemes fail to get off the ground because commercial finance isn't available.

"By offering these loans, we are helping communities to help themselves, developing affordable, green and locally-produced heat."

The loans were capped at £400,000 for capital costs and will be paid back over 10 years at 3.5% interest.

The projects cover councils from Shetland to South Lanarkshire and include a £100,000 loan for wood-fuel heating at Hill of Banchory business park in Aberdeenshire.

Others include £200,000 for infrastructure costs at Mull and Iona Progressive Care Centre in Argyll and Bute and £280,000 for the West Highland Housing Association biomass project, which will provide heating for a school and 60 properties.

In South Lanarkshire, £400,000 was loaned to West Whitlawburn Housing Co-operative to replace electric storage heating in two tower blocks.

 

 

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