New funding phase opens for Grimsby Community Energy
SOLAR POWER: Grimsby Community Energy installation at E-Factor's Enterprise Village. Vicky Dunn and Ivan Aisthorpe.
By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 19 May 2017
GRIMSBY Community Energy has now opened its next funding window, a community share offer, where it is inviting individuals and businesses to invest from just £100.
The award-winning solar scheme has seen early success with the first phase, installing 100kWp of panels on five town buildings after an initial £37,000 was pledged.
Now, having won funding from Co-operatives UK to train volunteers, update documentation and gain the Community Shares Standard Mark – as well as lifting a 2017 Humber Renewables Award, it is going again.
Director Vicky Dunn said: “Grimsby is famous for renewable energy, but it can feel a bit distant from the ordinary person. Our community share offer invites people to get involved. We hope to pay 4 per cent interest each year to members.”
Investments will be capped at £12,000. So far energy bills are being slashed for social enterprises and charities who host the solar panels, with E-Factor, St Andrew's Hospice, and The Rock Foundation all benefiting.
Grimsby Community Energy’s Energy Heroes programme has also reached 2,100 children in seven local schools.
Chairman, Richard Bellamy, who is spearheading the project as a district energy enthusiast and Enrolled Freeman, with Freeman Street Market having tapped into the PV programme in a separate investment, said: “We are grateful to Power to Change Community Shares Booster Programme for providing specialists to go through our business plan and finance models with a fine toothed comb. We were delighted to get the Community Shares Standard Mark at the end of the process. We know it shows people our plans are sound.”
A volunteer programme is another aspect of the scheme, giving people a taste of life in a dynamic company setting.
Volunteer Jake Miller said: “Volunteering, based in the E-Factor Business Hive, has given me an appreciation of how business works which I can take with me in future paid work.”
Businesses and individuals can invest. Grimsby Community Energy’s share offer document and application form is available at www.grimsbycommunityenergy.org, or by texting 07932 086539 to request a paper copy.
As reported, the organisation was crowned with the Engaging the Community accolade at The Deep in March.
Peter Tiffney, former technical director at Five Star Fish, is also on the board, with the huge Grimsby seafood plant having also exploited the sun’s energy.