Chester Community Energy Ltd (CCEL) has recently awarded grants to local community groups from revenues received from its solar PV generating installations at Northgate Arena, Christleton Sports Centre and Neston Recreational Centre. A total of £5,000 was offered to local charities/community groups for energy reduction measures in their buildings. Nine applications were received this year and four were short-listed to attend a joint Zoom interview session to enable the difficult task of selecting the successful applicants. A panel of four members of CCEL were responsible for the selection process and choosing the most deserving applications, with support provided by Cheshire West Voluntary Action. The panel consisted of Julie Savory, Sue Steeland, Graham Booth and Simon Brown ably assisted by Joanna Stanton of CWVA.
Applications were received from:
- Ashton & Manley Scout Group
- Cheshire, Halton & Warrington Race & Equality Centre (CHAWREC)
- Dodleston Village Foundation
- Holy Trinity Church, Blacon
- Huntington Scout Group
- Live Laugh Lache
- Neurotherapy Centre, Saltney
- Tarporley Community Centre
- Transformation for Veterans, Tarporley
The successful applications were:
- CHAWREC, who received £1,750 for new LED lighting to the ground floor of their Unity Centre in Cuppin Street, Chester.
- Dodleston Village Foundation, who received £750 towards completing their LED lighting replacement in the village hall.
- Neurotherapy Centre, who received £2,000 towards changing a total of 78 fluorescent lamps to new LED fittings in their centre in Saltney.
- Tarporley Community Centre, who received £500 to complete their LED lighting upgrade in the village hall.
All the applicants were informed of the awards and the unsuccessful applicants will be offered feedback from the panel on how they can improve their applications if they want to apply again.
The successful applicants were delighted to be helped by the new fund which will be awarded annually. The amount of funding in the future will depend in part on the unpredictable British weather but it is hoped that the present level of funding will be maintained. Graham Booth, a director of CCEL, said “There are so many local voluntary groups providing excellent support to their communities and we would love to offer more help. Even though government financial support and incentives for renewable energy are not readily available any more, CCEL are working hard to grow the business. Like many other community energy organisations, we are looking for ways to bring energy generation into community ownership and share any rewards within our communities”.