SCOTS GAP CHAPEL COMMUNITY CENTRE AND CAPHEATON PARISH COUNCIL RECEIVES FUNDING FROM THE NORTHERN POWERGRID FOUNDATION
Two local parishes, which serve as vital hubs to their local community in Northumberland, have received funding to help provide a sustainable energy source to protect residents during a power crisis.
The Northern Powergrid Foundation, established by Northern Powergrid, the company responsible for the electricity distribution network that powers the lives of 8 million people in the North East, Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire, is passionate about being able to support communities and creating resilient and thriving communities through access to funds.
Scots Gap Chapel Community Centre has received £6,351 from The Foundation to support the residents of Scots Gap, Northumberland, with a generator and resilience materials. The community project is now complete and is ready to protect the local community during emergency disruption to power supplies.
Andy Cowan, Scots Gap Community Coordinator said “We’re thrilled with the financial support from The Northern Powergrid Foundation and we’re already utilising the resilience items within the community centre, which has added value and are serving residents well.
“We’re also prepared for any future emergency crisis with the use of a generator and we’re set to power the community and provide a warm and welcoming space for everyone in our parish who needs support.”
Similarly, Capheaton Parish Council has implemented their local resilience plan after their residents in the rural community had power interruptions as a result of 2021 Storm Arwen. The aim of Capheaton's resilience plan is to provide the community with warm and safe sanctuary in the event of losing power for extended periods. Funded by The Northern Powergrid Foundation, a grant of £2,686 was awarded to the Capheaton Village Hall Committee, who were able to purchase a generator and adapt their electricity connection to allow, in times of power emergencies, quick switch overs to support the residents of Capheaton, Northumberland.
Willy Browne-Swinburne, Chairman of Capheaton Parish Council said "The loss of power during Storm Arwen and the difficulties faced by the community, many of whom had no electricity for more than a week, was hard. We are very grateful to The Northern Powergrid Foundation for their financial support and encouragement. Hopefully we will not suffer this again, but should it happen, the Village Hall will be able to provide a warm place to get a cup of tea, meet some friendly faces and recharge mobile phones to connect to loved ones."
The funding awarded to these communities is part of a batch of successful applications to The Northern Powergrid Foundation, which was set up to support and improve local community energy resilience. The scheme has, so far, awarded £560,000 and supported over 40 projects across Northumberland and County Durham worst hit by the winter storms of 2021-22. These communities are delivering unique and exciting projects that will have a lasting impact by enabling hubs to be self-sufficient in supporting their residents today, tomorrow and in the future. Projects include the establishment or the expansion of community hubs so that the likes of community halls and parish halls can play a vital role in keeping their community safe and warm during power interruptions with the introduction of solar panels, heat pumps and generators.
Chris Mitchell, Northern Powergrid’s Regional Customer Service Manager said: “I’m absolutely delighted that these communities have received funding from The Foundation to better support their local residents.
“It is fantastic to see The Foundation support communities in remote areas to become resilient in the event of a power cut or emergency situation. I hope to see more communities being supported by The Foundation in the near future.”
More about The Northern Powergrid Foundation
The Northern Powergrid Foundation will officially launch soon, with grant applications from communities across the North East, Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire accepted in due course. The Foundation’s mission, complementing Northern Powergrid’s ambition to be a force for good in the communities it serves, is to support communities most affected by changes in the economy, environment, and society because of the shifting energy landscape. This will be achieved by supporting projects focused on helping to tackle energy resilience during emergency events, vulnerability, fuel poverty, levelling the rural divide, innovation, social support, and community collaboration.
The Foundation has worked with Northern Powergrid's community partners to identify the best ways to create a position and enduring impact for those worst affected by Storm Arwen in 2021.
The Foundation is proud to have funded over 40 unique and exciting energy resilience projects so far for communities within Northumberland and County Durham (totalling £560,000). These projects have largely been for the creation of, or the expansion of community hubs, with energy resilience pieces of kit such as generators, solar panels and heat pumps.
Find out more
The Foundation will be open for applications biannually and the first round for applications to all communities served by Northern Powergrid will open very soon, with applicants invited to apply online.
The Foundation website is now published to learn more and interested parties can register their interest to be updated when it is open for applications for funding up to £20,000.
Scots Gap Chapel Community Centre photo caption L-R: Chris Mitchell, Northern Powergrid’s Regional Customer Service Manager pictured with Andy Cowan, Scots Gap Community Coordinator and representatives of the parish – outside of the community centre.
Capheaton photo caption L-R: Willy Brown-Swinburne, Chairman of Capheaton Parish Council with Chris Mitchell, Northern Powergrid’s Regional Customer Service Manager and David Patterson, Chairman of the Village Hall Committee – pictured outside of the Village Hall in Capheaton.
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