News

New Support Available for Community-Owned Renewable Projects in the East Midlands

Marches Energy Agency has recently secured funding to support communities seeking to set up community-owned renewable projects in the East Midlands.

During Spring 2018 we will be:

  • Holding a one day event for community groups, with speakers from a range of organisations with expertise in this area and time to meet others doing similar things. The emphasis will be on helping communities navigate and overcome barriers created by recent policy and funding changes that affect these sort of projects.
  • Organising study tours to inspiring existing community-owned renewable projects.
  • Providing some 121-tailored follow up support for a limited number of groups to help them get to the next stage in their project.

Caroline Harmon of Marches Energy Agency said:

'We are keen to hear from groups who would like take part in the training and study tours and be considered for 121 follow up support. We're especially keen to get input from those who would like to attend the one day event on what should be covered.'

MEA would like to hear from groups in or near the East Midlands who have a community-owned renewable already up and running and could inspire those attending the event or provide a location for an inspiring study tour.

Anyone who is interested should contact: caroline.harmon@mea.org.uk

 

Save Serpentine Community Farm

Volunteers at Serpentine Community Farm in Buxton are asking supporters to sign a petition to save the site and get the farm a long-term lease from High Peak Borough Council.

Over the last three years, volunteers have brought a disused and derelict Council plant nursery in the heart of Buxton back to life. They already demonstrate good horticultural practice, develop skills and confidence, offer a therapeutic setting for people of all ages and abilities, grow produce, provide education and training, and organise events accessible for all.

They feel they can do more if they have a secure footing in the form of a long-term lease on the current site and original stone-built workshops and stores. Serpentine Community Farm could extend its activities, enriching individual and community life. Instead, a plan formulated by the High Peak Borough Council Executive Team to raise cash from residential development of the site jeopardises all the work and effort of the volunteers.

The petition can be found online

Vote for Funding for Whistlewood Common

Whistlewood Common, a not-for-profit, community-owned woodland in Melbourne, Derbyshire, is looking for your votes to help get funding for an access track to allow people with disabilities to access and enjoy the woodland.

The site is designed along permaculture principles (a sustainable design framework) so that it will work for people, for wildlife and be a welcoming space for people of all ages and backgrounds. Young and old alike love the site as somewhere they can feel relaxed and close to nature. Whistlewood Common holds events, runs workshops and provides educational opportunities that help people understand how to live more sustainably. Their rural ten acre site encourages an appreciation of nature and the outdoors, by being part of it, not just an outside observer. The site also hosts events that bring the community closer to make it a better place to live and help them face future challenges.

The group has applied for an Aviva grant to install an access pathway that will allow the project to be more inclusive and welcome more visitors.

Vote online

Help With Research Into How the Public Engages With Renewable Energy

A student at the University of Birmingham is researching how the public engage with renewable energy. The research seeks to explore how people are investing in Community Energy and purchasing 'green' renewable energy tariffs at home. To find out more and complete the survey, visit http://bit.ly/2gNy7Kd

Nottinghamshire County Council Calling for Improvements to Rail Travel

Nottinghamshire County Council has called for the Government to take action to improve rail travel in Nottinghamshire. These calls are in response to a consultation by the Department of Transport to help shape long-term improvements to the East Midlands rail franchise, one of the four franchises which serve Nottinghamshire.

The Council has already funded £200,000 towards an initial feasibility study into the reopening of the Shirebrook-Ollerton line for passengers. This line is already used as a freight line and a test track, and already connects to the existing passenger railway on the Robin Hood line between Nottingham and Worksop. Improvements to rail links in this part of Nottinghamshire could help boost the local economy by creating better access to jobs and local tourism sites.

Councillors also reiterated their disappointment in the Government’s decision to cancel the electrification of the Midland Main Line. Councillor John Cottee, committee chairman for the Community and Place Committee said: “We think this is a short-sighted approach as the proposed replacement bi-mode trains – designed to run on both existing lines and electric lines - represent a poor replacement and are not environmentally friendly. The Government's decision to cancel electrification of the MML, while continuing to fund the £30 billion Crossrail two project in London, is particularly unfair to this region.”

For more information visit http://bit.ly/2zREjs6