Features: Bristol Community Energy Fund is back

Bristol24/7, July 5, 2016

Bristol City Council’s funding offer is back on the table and offering local groups a chance to change how energy is used and generated across our communities.

The Bristol Community Energy Fund is offering grants of up to £10,000 to projects that develop local solutions to community-specific energy challenges.

The council is aiming to reach and engage with all communities, particularly those that have been less involved in the energy movement. The funding on offer is not just available for community energy groups and welcomes applications from all community groups and organisations with charitable aims.

During Bristol Community Energy Fund’s first round of funding back in February, the council awarded grants to twelve local projects totalling over £53,000.

Local charity, Bristol Playbus, was one of them and will use their grant to add solar panels to their Sensory Truck, a mobile sensory environment for children with a disability or life-limiting illness. The solar panels mean that the equipment on the truck can work without the use of diesel generators.

Katie Hanchard-Goodwin, Project Coordinator at Bristol Playbus, said: “Here at Bristol Playbus, our goal is to ensure that geographical isolation and/or lack of specialist transportation is never an obstacle to a disabled child or young person’s ability to access the cutting edge specialist learning equipment they need to thrive. Our Sensory Truck allows us to bring sensory play facilities to the – often literal – doorsteps of these communities. The amazing support from the Bristol Community Energy Fund ensures that we continue to reach more and more of these kids all the time.”

Bristol’s new Mayor, Marvin Rees shared his support for the project saying:

“I’m fully behind making Bristol carbon neutral by 2050 and addressing inequalities in the city. For this, we need get the whole city involved. The groups least engaged with energy issues have tended to be those most prone to fuel poverty, least likely to access information that might encourage them to undertake energy efficiency measures or to benefit from generating their own energy. By supporting projects that help address the specific needs of communities, we can begin to bridge that gap, helping residents to gain from a more sustainable relationship with energy and the local environment.”

There are two types of grant available to Bristol groups – the Small Grants which offer up to £2,000 and the Large Grants, which offer up to £10,000 to projects. Both grants are designed to encourage behavioural change and enable renewable or energy-efficiency projects. Groups need to act fast though, as applications for both grants must be submitted by 8 August 2016.

For more information visit bristolcommunityenergy.co.uk

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