Community groups can bid for funding

Ribble Valley Borough Council leader Stuart Hirst (right) and the council's housing officer, John Barber

Ribble Valley Borough Council leader Stuart Hirst (right) and the council's housing officer, John Barber

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Community groups in Ribble Valley are invited to a meeting to see how they vie for up to £150,000 to fund renewable energy projects.

The Rural Community Energy Fund offers cash for rural communities to develop renewable energy projects providing economic and social benefits.

The funds can be used for feasibility studies and pre-planning development work to help the projects become investment-ready.

Stage One provides grants of up to £20,000 for an initial investigation into the feasibility of the project, while Stage Two provides an unsecured loan of up to £130,000 to support planning applications and develop a robust business case to attract further investment.

Ribble Valley Borough Council leader Stuart Hirst said: “The borough is abundant in natural resources, such as watercourses, and I am sure there are many potential schemes that could qualify for this fund.

“This is a fantastic opportunity that we don’t want to miss and the council is keen to help community groups and projects develop their ideas into bids.”

The fund is available to communities with less than 10,000 residents, or over 10,000, as long as they are predominantly rural, for projects using a commercially recognised renewable energy technology, such as wind turbines, hydropower, solar voltaic or thermal, ground and air source heat pumps or biomass.

Interested groups and organisations are invited to a meeting at the Ribble Valley Borough Council Offices on Wednesday, September 25, from 1.30 to 3pm, to discuss their ideas. To book a place, phone the council’s housing officer, John Barber, on 01200 413235.