Local projects cutting carbon or tackling fuel poverty while improving the local environment can now apply to the Bath and West Community Energy (BWCE) Fund grant programme.

This popular grant programme is back for a ninth year, thanks to funding from BWCE as part of the work it does in supporting local communities.

Applications for grants of up to £5,000 are invited before the 5 November 2021 deadline.

Award-winning BWCE was set up in 2010 to develop and own renewable energy projects and has since become one of the largest community-owned energy companies in the UK. As a Community Benefit Society, it gives surplus income to the BWCE Fund, which has asked Quartet Community Foundation to administer the BWCE Fund grant funding programme, giving grants to community groups and local environmental organisations.

Earlier this year 11 B&NES projects received over £33,000 in funding to lower carbon emissions and address fuel poverty. The grants went to a range of projects including those:

  • encouraging us to reduce waste, such as Bath Share & Repair
  • food and growing projects, such as Youth Connect South West and
  • cutting carbon emissions from local buildings, such as Fairfield House.  

“Each year community-owned renewable energy company BWCE donates surplus income to the BWCE Fund for us to distribute to vital local projects,” explained Sophie Hooper Lea, Chair of Trustees for BWCE Fund. “Since 2015, the BWCE Fund has awarded 69 grants worth almost £207,000 through this grant programme and we are very grateful to BWCE and its members for providing this funding.”

Among the projects to benefit from the awards is Peter Pan Pre-school in Lower Weston, Bath, which earlier this year received £777 to help them set up a bike, scooter and pram shed to encourage families to use sustainable transport for their commute to the pre-school.

“The bike and scooter shed has encouraged people who always drove to pre-school to walk some or all of the time,” said Clare Moon, Chair of our Trustees Peter Pan Pre-school. “Before, 16% always drove. After the shed installation, 100% walked at least once a week. Being able to safely secure bikes and scooters made commuting quicker and easier and meant parents did not have to struggle to carry scooters back home along with prams.

Other family-focused groups to benefit from the project include –

  • Bath Cloth Nappy Library was awarded £4,163 to update and expand the cloth nappy library’s stock. This helped support more of the community to become aware of and make the switch to reusable nappies.
  • FACE – Family Action on Climate Emergency (pictured above) – was awarded £1,177 for a range of awareness raising activities, targeting different communities in Bath & the surrounding area, empowering families to take action to reduce carbon emissions, and building the FACE community.
  • Youth Connect South West was awarded £4,976 for the ‘Grow it cook it!’ project to work with the local community to support the provision of low cost, good quality local food and encourage local people to grow and cook their own food.
  • Kilter Theatre was awarded £3,000 towards workshops in schools in Bath that focus on discussions about climate change and the creation of a song that articulates the pupils feelings about climate change and their proposed solutions.

Find out more and apply before 5 November

Groups are invited to apply to the BWCE Fund grant programme before 9am on Friday 5 November 2021. Interested projects need to apply through the Quartet Community Foundation website https://quartetcf.org.uk/grant-programmes/bath-west-community-energy-2/

Full details of the grants awarded in previous years can be found on BWCE’s website www.bwce.coop/communityfund/