Our Community Grants in Action: Watchfield Village Hall solar

As well as providing help and advice, Low Carbon Hub also offers financial support to  our community shareholder groups wanting to carry out carbon-cutting activity in their community. Here is a case study of what one group did with a small grant we awarded them.

Westmill Sustainable Energy Trust (WeSET) was one of the last community groups to successfully pre-register a 10.14kWp solar PV array under the old Feed-in Tariff (FiT) rates. The array would provide Watchfield Village Hall with free electricity, whilst the Feed-in Tariff payments would provide ongoing long-term income to WeSET.

They needed to raise £16,665 and launched a fundraising appeal to enable them to install the panels before the pre-registration ran out.  They were delighted to  receive donations from local residents and members of Westmill Wind Farm and Solar Park, as well as support from Watchfield Village Hall Committee and Westmill Solar Park directly.

As a Low Carbon Hub CIC community shareholder, WeSET was eligible to apply for a £500 grant from the Low Carbon Hub towards the project. They also persuaded two other local CIC community shareholders, Westmill Wind Farm and Westmill Solar, to join forces with them and also apply for small grants to support this local community project.

 These combined efforts resulted in the appeal successfully raising half of the required funds. With matched funding from WeSET’s core funds they were able to install the array, which is expected to deliver the following benefits to the community over the next 20 years. 

  • £30,000 of electricity savings for Watchfield Village Hall
  • £30,000 to support WeSET’s local environmental projects
  • 4.7 tonnes CO2 savings a year