With up to £300k available for renewable community energy projects and technologies across the UK, twenty-five projects have now been announced as the winners of the M&S Energy Community Energy Fund.
Now in it’s third year, the M&S Energy Fund hunted once again for the best community groups (such as sports clubs, schools and local libraries) that are promoting local clean energy. The shortlist was then opened up to votes from the public – giving customers and local communities the opportunity to get involved with the initiative and back their favourite project.
Alongside gathering voter support to win a share of the funds, projects were also able to raise additional funds on Crowdfunder.co.uk and receive pledges from their supporters, enabling the public to support the projects that they care about.
Developing an important awareness and proactive approach to tackling energy concerns in the wider community, the competition is an exemplary display of how the Crowd can come together to implement environmental change.
With more than 130,000 votes cast this year, the largest amount in the fund’s three-year history, and over £25k crowdfunded by the projects, it’s safe to say that it was the fiercest competition seen so far.
Following a six-week long campaign from each shortlisted project, the winners have now been announced. Twenty-one of the twenty-five winners were determined from the public vote, whilst a further four projects, considered to be the most innovative or inspiring, were chosen by a panel of expert judges. Judges included broadcaster and Red Dwarf star, Robert Llewellyn and former prize winner Becky Vipond from Toxeth Food Central. The judging panel was hosted by Crowdfunder Chairman, Rob Love at River Cottage, Dorset.
Rob Love, Crowdfunder Chairman said, “It’s fantastic to see that the quality of projects coming through the M&S Energy Community Energy Fund continue to improve year on year. We were truly amazed at the level of engagement in the voting process from the public, who are clearly emotionally and physically invested in making these ideas a reality. This made the decision-making process at the judging panel tougher than ever! All of the projects are winners, and at Crowdfunder we will continue to support great community energy projects so that they too can come to life.”
The winners of the Judge’s Prize included…
Forest Row Community Group, whose vision to power their community through local energy production and create an energy movement that is self-sufficient, will fund solar installations and battery storage schemes for the local area.
The Avenues Youth Project, an organisation committed to helping teenagers into work, will install LED lighting which will rejuvenate their facilities and lessen energy costs.
Berkshire Women’s Aid who plan to bring their accommodation into the 21st Century by installing Solar PV panels, and in turn improving the quality of life of the women and children taking refuge there.
St. Andrew’s CE Primary School who plan to install LED lighting across the school site and raise awareness of the benefits of energy efficiency amongst staff, parents and children.
We’re pleased to announce that the winners of the M&S Energy Fund 2017 are…
The Dassett CofE Primary School
Swannington CofE Primary School
Trelay Cohousing Community
Cornwall Wildlife Trust
The John Peel Theatre
Roundwood Tennis Club
St Michael’s Hospice
Community Action Ark Project (CAAP)
King George V Sports Complex and Playing Fields
Marton Community Centre
FC United of Manchester
Iveson Primary School
Taigh Dhonnchaidh Music and Arts Centre
Send CofE Primary School
Great Chart Primary School
Learn for Life Enterprise
Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust Washington Wetlands
Cardiff Deaf Centre
Wiltshire Music Centre
Berkshire Women’s Aid
The Avenues Youth Project
Forest Row Energy Cooperative
St Andrew’s Primary School