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New £10 million Local Community Energy Fund for England to Open in Early Autumn

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Rural and local communities across England will be supported in setting up local energy projects that will provide local jobs and deliver energy security, owing to a new £10 million government fund that is being launched.

Both urban and rural communities will have the chance to win a portion of a new £10 million Community Energy Fund – new government grant funding to help communities develop local renewable energy projects. The Community Energy Fund will open to applications in the early Autumn.

This funding will help to kickstart projects including small-scale wind farms and rooftop solar partnerships, as well as battery storage, rural heat networks, electric vehicle charging points, and fuel poverty alleviation schemes – all proposed, designed and owned by local people.

Today’s new Community Energy Fund follows the former Rural Community Energy Fund (RCEF), expanding the remit to include renewable energy investment for both rural and urban areas.

As with the Rural Community Energy Fund, the new fund will be delivered through Local Net Zero Hubs, which support local authorities to develop net zero projects and attract commercial investment.

The Community Energy Fund will fund projects like Congleton Hydro, which received £73,511 funding from the Rural Community Energy Fund. The Congleton Hydro project is producing affordable, clean and secure electricity from a local weir – enough to power the equivalent of 60 homes. The project is not only reducing emissions in the area, but its success has also led to the creation of an annual £5,000 fund for local community projects. This has so far funded a re-wilding programme to protect nature in the local area and an educational programme on helping young people to deliver local sustainability.

We will publish more about the new scheme here when more details emerge about eligibility and how to apply.

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