COMMUNITY groups are urged to bid for money to help residents in the shadow of five 125m-high turbines.

Voluntary organisations in St Osyth, Little Clacton and Clacton’s Bockings Elm ward have been invited to apply for grants to pay for activities in their areas.

The cash is part of the Earls Hall Farm Community Benefit Fund, set up last year to help residents after the construction of the turbines at Earls Hall Farm, off St John’s Road, Clacton.

At the time, residents hit out at wind farm company Renerco for contributing £14,000 a year to groups, which was described as a “pittance”

for residents forced to live with the “industrialisation”

of the countryside.

The fund totals £14,000-a-year for each of the farm’s expected 20-year lifespan.

The Essex Community Foundation, an independent charitable trust, is managing the community benefit fund and a panel, made up of residents, will work with it to consider applications.

Caroline Taylor, programmes director, said the panel was particularly interested in supporting voluntary organisations needing small grants to enable them to make a big difference in their community. She said: “This fund was established to support community projects, so we would encourage organisations working in this area to apply for grants which will make a difference to the lives of local people.”

“The panel is a great resource in helping us understand local needs and issues and where to direct funding and we are always interested to hear from residents who would like to contribute.’’ Applications must be submitted to the foundation by mid-February. The panel will make its decisions in March.

Anyone who would like to discuss making an application can call the grants team on 01245 356018. Residents who would like to join the panel should call Fran Wright on 01245 356018.