VOLUNTEER groups, sports clubs and organisations serving others were among ten recipients of recent grants from the Sapphire Wind Farm's Community Fund.
The program awards grants to community groups and non profit organisations in two rounds each year, providing funds for the purchase of small equipment and infrastructure and also assisting with events.
Last year, the program awarded over $137,000 in grant funding to groups throughout Inverell Shire.
Among the recipients announced in April was Swan Vale Tennis Club, which will receive $20,680 to construct a club house facility.
The Sapphire Wind Farm turbines are a familiar sight at Swan Vale, with ridge lines surrounding the courts dotted with the structures, which stand a height of 200-metre from ground to blade tip.
The club, located halfway between Inverell and Glen Innes, has monthly events, where tennis is played and locals share a barbecue and unwind from farm life.
President Phil Clayton says the gatherings have been particularly important during drought.
"The club gatherings are well supported by the farmers and their families, who find it a great opportunity to relax and take some time away from the day to day hard slog of the drought."
Mr Clayton says the idea of building a community hall at Swan Vale was for many years considered a bit of a pipe dream.
"Thanks to the funding made available from Sapphire Wind Farm, this can now be turned into reality and will be warmly received by the entire district".
"Swan Vale will now have a suitable facility that can host a variety of activities not limited to just tennis and can now benefit from hosting activities such as field days, fetes, other sporting activities, possibly horse sports, as well as possibly being able to be let out to other organisations or individuals for functions".
The ten projects to receive the stamp of approval are:
- Myall Creek Hall and Recreation Ground Trust - Water Tank Replacement, $2,876
- Inverell Pipe Band - New Band instruments and maintenance equipment, $5,000
- Elsmore Soldiers Memorial Hall - Playground Shade Sail, $7,500
- Swan Vale Recreation Reserve Trust - Swan Vale Tennis Club House, $20,680.80
- Inverell Minor League - New lawn mower, $10,000
- Inverell Mountain Bike Club - Club facilities development work, $10,401.50
- Inverell Art Society - Catering fridge replacement, $2,099
- Inverell Junior Cricket Association - Representative Shirts, $3,410
- Inverell Volleyball - Equipment Purchases, $3,000
- Kings Plains RFS Coordinator - Upgrade of existing solar & security systems, $10,000
The next round of Sapphire Wind Farm Community Fund will open for applications in August 2020.