TWO VITAL COMMUNITY HUBS IN NORTHUMBERLAND RECEIVE FUNDING TO IMPROVE COMMUNITY RESILIENCE
Elsdon Village Hall and Rochester Village Hall in Northumberland have received funding from The Northern Powergrid Foundation to help provide a sustainable energy source to residents during a power crisis.
The Northern Powergrid Foundation, set up 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.
Rochester Village Hall received £16,956 from The Foundation to support local residents with a generator, battery and resilience materials. The community project is nearing completion and in the coming months will be ready to protect the local community in the event of emergency disruption to power supplies.
David Pentney, Chair of Rochester Village Hall said “Thanks to funding from The Northern Powergrid Foundation the community of Rochester is now more prepared and resilient if we experience a prolonged power outage in the future.
“The funding has enabled us to buy a generator and battery assets and will help support around 300 people. The money will make such a difference to people’s lives as they will be able to come to the hall, keep warm and access power during an emergency situation.”
Similarly, eight miles south of Rochester, Elsdon Village Hall received funding of £7,309 from The Northern Powergrid Foundation to enable the village hall to become a crisis hub with a generator; providing energy resilience to support the residents of Elsdon.
Carol Lewins, Assistant Treasurer of Elsdon Village Hall said: “We’re thrilled with the funding from The Foundation as the money will help our multi-purpose hall to support local residents during a prolonged power outage.
“Many of our residents are elderly and isolated and we can provide a safe and warm hub for them to visit, seek shelter, socialise with neighbours, keep warm and access hot drinks and food.”
Louise Lowes, Northern Powergrid Foundation Trustee said: “We’re delighted to see how funding from The Northern Powergrid Foundation has been put to good use for the communities of Rochester and Elsdon and we thank the representatives from both parishes for taking the time to complete the application process.
“Their hubs are now energy self-sufficient in supporting their residents today, tomorrow and in the future.”
More about The Northern Powergrid Foundation
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 Foundation supports projects that includes the establishment or the expansion of community hubs, such as community halls and parish halls, with the introduction of solar panels, heat pumps and generators. Such assets play a vital role in keeping communities safe and warm during power interruptions.
So far, £560,000 has been awarded and the Foundation has supported over 40 projects across Northumberland and County Durham – the worst hit areas impacted by the winter storms of 2021-22.
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 positive and enduring impact for those worst affected by the Storm Arwen in 2021.
How to apply for funding
Community groups interested in finding out more about applying for funding up to £20,000 should visit www.northernpowergridfoundation.com to be informed when the Foundation is officially open to applications.
Rochester Village Hall photo caption L-R: Louise Lowes, Northern Powergrid Foundation Trustee, pictured with Jilli Rogerson, Nick Hall, Lynn Hall and David Pentney, Chair of Rochester Village Hall.
Elsdon Village Hall photo caption L-R: Carol Lewins, Assistant Treasurer of Elsdon Village Hall, Billy Lewins, Louise Lowes, Northern Powergrid Foundation Trustee.
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