Rural communities in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire are being encouraged to take advantage of the £15 million which has been made available through the Rural Community Energy Fund, launched by the Government at the end of June. The fund aims to help rural communities throughout England develop renewable energy projects which provide economic and social benefits to the community and which will provide a legacy for the future.
The fund will provide up to £150,000 in two stages for feasibility and pre-planning development work that considers using a proven renewable energy source such as wind turbines, solar power systems, low carbon/renewable heat systems, anaerobic digestion, biomass, ground and air source heat pumps, hydropower or gas combined heat and power units.
Stage 1 of the funding provides a grant of up to approximately £20,000 to pay for a feasibility study and Stage 2 provides an unsecured loan of up to approximately £130,000 to support planning applications and develop a robust business case to attract further investment. To be eligible to receive funding applicants must have formed a legal entity providing benefit to the community, for example Parish Councils, community interest companies, registered social landlords, charities and development trusts.
Anna Fell, Rural Surveyor for George F White’s specialist team GFW Renewables, based in Shiptonthorpe, commented: “This is a great opportunity for local rural communities to kick start a project which will have lasting benefits and can make a real difference to their lives. There are many ways in which renewable energy can be harnessed and utilised and we are encouraging rural communities in this area to consider applying for the fund and take advantage of this opportunity whilst it is available.”
For further information and advice about how to apply for the Rural Community Energy Fund and for assistance with the feasibility and planning stages, email Anna Fell at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01430 876010.