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The M&S Energy Community Energy Fund

Contributed by Alice Litchfield on 03.05.2016

An Article about the M&S Energy Community Energy Fund. Written by Alice Litchfield 

The M&S Community Energy Fund competition is back for 2016. It enables projects in the UK to enter and their aim is to generate renewable energy communities that are more environmentally and financially sustainable. M&S has over £350,000 to distribute to the communities across the UK and so makes for an exciting project to enter.

Last year 136 projects entered and were voted for by the public which created 52,000 votes resulting in 21 project winners from around Great Britain. Furthermore Ed Davey, the former Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, joined the founder of River Cottage, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and a panel of experts to decide on the 5 additional judges’ discretion prizes.

There is up to £12,500 to be won in each M&S region across the UK to put towards the cost of installation of a renewable technology to generate energy for your community building. The community group that enters could range from a number of things including a sports club, energy group or any organisation that wants to have a positive impact on the environment. There were two national winners last year, each with their own exciting projects to enhance the community.

One National Winner was Hartlepool Community Solar for Schools, this project received £40,000 worth of funding as their aim was to get as many of the 37 schools and colleges in the town to access cheaper, greener solar energy. The funding provided by M&S will go towards installing the first Solar School in Hartlepool, this project is set to run with West Park Primary school allowing them to have a roof top solar panel installation and become the lighthouse project for all the other schools in town.

The second National Winner included JAC- Just Around the Corner. This group was awarded £20,000 to enable disadvantaged young people to make positive choices. They work alongside Christian principles of love and acceptance and their aim is to provide a first point of contact to youth living within the Berkshire area to raise awareness of alcohol, drug and substance abuse.

They aim to challenge their social attitudes based on Christian values and ethics by all charitable means including

1) the availability of people and mobile facilities to create safe meeting and listening spaces
2) through providing education and information
3) through working and cooperating with other youth organisations and agencies
4) through involvement with other local youth council initiatives.
  

In order to get your project off the ground and apply, a useful tip is to make sure Planning Permission or Permitted Development Rights has been approved prior to sending off your application. Cost quotes from your installer will also have to be submitted so make sure the document is ready to upload. The applications open next week online and run until 31st May, so get your creative thinking hats on and apply. 

For more information, visit: www.mandsenergyfund.com

To apply, click HERE 

Photo curtesy of M & S Energy