The Bath & West Community Energy Fund has awarded grants totalling over £31,000 to 11 local organisations to help reduce carbon emissions and address fuel poverty.
For the fifth year running, member-owned Bath & West Community Energy (BWCE) has given its surplus profits to the independently run BWCE Fund, in order to support local communities.
The BWCE Fund grant programme is administered by the Quartet Community Foundation.
The BWCE Fund aims to address fuel poverty in addition to reducing emissions, and the Panel awarded grants to a range of projects including:
- Schemes to make community buildings more environmentally friendly such as Percy Community Centre who received £3,700 to install LED lighting in the community centre’s basement, ground floor area and sport hall.
- Projects around reducing waste/sharing/re-use e.g. Bath Share and Repair who received £950 to invest in resources for the repair cafes.
- Transport schemes such as Transition Bath who received £3,053 toward the cost of a six-month pilot of the Ride to Work by E-Bike Project, providing a total of 40 employees at Bath-based work places the opportunity to trial the use of an electric bike for 6 weeks each.
- Projects that improve the outside environment such as Monksdale Allotments Community Orchard who received £522 to purchase trees, hedges and materials to plant a community orchard.
Sophie Hooper Lea, Chair of Trustees for the BWCE Fund, said: “I am very grateful to BWCE and its members for giving their surplus profits to the BWCE Fund for us to redistribute to vital community projects that reduce local carbon emissions and address fuel poverty.
“BWCE is a not for profit community benefit society. It contributes a huge amount to the local environment and economy by generating clean, community-owned energy and paying interest to its members as a return on their investment.
“As if that weren’t enough, BWCE then gives its surplus profits to the BWCE Fund to provide even more benefits to our local communities. I am very proud that, since 2015, the BWCE Fund and BWCE have awarded 50 grants worth over £155,000.
“We work with Quartet Community Foundation to provide the BWCE Fund grant programme in Bath and surrounding areas, giving grants to community groups and local environmental organisations.”
Mayor of Bath, Councillor Patrick Anketell-Jones, added: “I’m particularly pleased to offer a Civic Reception to so many groups who are committed to improving the environment.
“Throughout this year I’m taking every opportunity to promote sustainability and environmental responsibility, so it will be great to learn how these groups are using their grants.”
Claire Wynne Hughes, Quartet Community Foundation’s Philanthropy Executive for Bath and NES, said: “We all know how important it is to protect the environment and this great local grants programme is helping support those fantastic small, local community projects and groups who want to improve the environment, cut their energy bills and help local people save money, help us all reuse and repair essential items, find new ways to travel and plant community orchards.”
Jane Roberts, from the Monksdale Allotments Community Orchard, said: “Monksdale Allotments Community Orchard will be creating an orchard on an unused area on the allotment site for the benefit to the community.
“We hope to run events that will bring people from the allotments and the wider community together including tree and edible hedge planting, wassailing, autumn fruit picking, winter pruning.
“We hope to build links with local infants and primary schools who will be actively involved in using it as an outside learning environment.
The BWCE Fund grant programme for 2018/19 awarded 11 grants, totalling £31,204.