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Published: 4th May, 2020
A community-run solar farm near Whitchurch is making available £20,000 to help local initiatives offering support during the coronavirus emergency.
Twemlows Solar Farm has teamed up with Shropshire RCC to distribute the money through our Community Resilience Fund, which is supporting community groups and voluntary organisations affected by the crisis and the February 2020 floods.
The two organisations have previously worked together to give out grants for community initiatives in North Shropshire focussed on environmental improvements or community participation.
Julia Baron, CEO of Shropshire RCC, said: “We are incredibly grateful to Twemlows Solar Farm for offering £20,000 to support groups across the county that are either helping to tackle the coronavirus emergency or are immobilised by the current restrictions.
“A lot is uncertain at the moment but what we do know is that our communities will need to support each other more than ever as we recover from this pandemic, and it is heartening to see local organisations like Twemlows play a big part in that support.”
Groups interested in applying for the funding can make an initial enquiry on our grants page here.
The agreement to release the community benefit funds early followed consultation between Community Owned Renewable Energy (CORE) which has invested in and supports the solar farms, and its advisers, Environmental Finance.
André Sarvarian, Associate Director at Environmental Finance, said: “In this uncertain period, the value of a community owned infrastructure asset that can generate a stable cash flow for the community is reinforced - the original hypothesis of CORE was to embed these valuable assets into community hands to make those communities more resilient and able to react to local social need - this early and substantial release of funds goes a long way to proving that hypothesis.”
CORE plans to transfer Twemlows Solar Farm into full community ownership in the coming months. A new Shropshire & Telford community energy group is being formed, which will launch an investment offer later this year which will allow local people to invest and have a stake in their local green energy generating assets, and resulting in substantial additional community benefit funds over the lifetime of the solar farm.