£50,000 grant will help energy efficient projects

A FORWARD-thinking group from Belper has won funding of more than £50,000 to carry out a series of energy efficiency projects in the town.

Transition Belper is one of 155 community groups in the UK to win a share of the Local Energy Assessment Fund (LEAF).

Winning the bid will allow the group to complete several projects to help accelerate Belper’s progress to becoming a lower carbon community, where energy supply is both secure and affordable, said chairman Ian Jackson.

The projects are: an aerial thermal survey of Belper to identify buildings leaking heat; a desktop Solar PV opportunities survey; a hydro power opportunities survey for the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site corridor; a solid wall insulation case study and show home; producing a planning guidance document on the installation of energy saving measures and renewable energy generation equipment in the World Heritage corridor; and training for the first ten Energy Expert Neighbour volunteers.

They must be completed by Saturday, March 31.

The project team of Ian Jackson, David George and Richard Keighley said they were thrilled to have won the funding, which totals £51,280.

Energy Group leader, David George, said “This is an example of what can be achieved through a small group of people showing vision, ambition and commitment. Imagine what the whole community of Belper could achieve together.”

The LEAF funding, from the government, was worked on by the team over the Christmas period and submitted by the January 20 deadline. Amber Valley Borough Council supported it.

The bid submission included letters of support from the Belper Civic Forum, the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage team, Belper Town Council and local MP Pauline Latham.

Transition Belper is hosting a public meeting tonight, February 16, from 7.30pm at the Strutts Centre, Derby Road, Belper.

At the meeting members will be offering support and advice on how to save energy, reduce bills, benefit from existing support schemes and learn about the new Green Deal. The group will also be announcing more details of the funding bid win at the meeting. All members of the public are welcome to attend, free of charge.

A follow-up public meeting will be organised at the end of the project to share the results of the surveys and discuss the plans for the future. The group is keen for as many people in Belper as possible to get involved.

To receive the group’s electronic newsletter send your details to info@transitionbelper.org. Alternatively, visit the group’s website www.transitionbelper.org.

Transition Belper is a group of volunteers whose purpose is to respond to the twin challenges of peak oil and climate change by developing resilience at a community level.