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From | Wednesday 15 January 2020

The Rural Community Energy Fund is a Government initiative to support rural communities seeking to develop feasibility work for renewable energy projects.

Rural groups in the Humber region are being invited to apply for funding.

Rural groups in the Humber could benefit from £1.46m in funding to help develop greener projects.

Groups looking to develop greener ways to provide energy for their communities are being urged to apply for the Rural Community Energy Fund (RCEF), a Government initiative to support rural communities seeking to develop feasibility work for renewable energy projects.

The funding could be used for initiatives such as those involving solar power, wind turbines, anaerobic digestion, heat pumps or hydropower.

It is available to community groups in the north east, Yorkshire and the Humber including parish councils, charities and legally constituted local groups in rural areas, usually defined as a population of less than 10,000.

To secure funding, groups must be enthusiastic and committed to developing a project which could deliver huge benefits to their community.

Richard Royal, energy programme manager at the Humber LEP, said: “Often rural communities have higher emissions than assumed due to many buildings being off-grid and using alternative high-carbon fuels, and often being less well insulated and efficient, as well as individuals being more reliant on private transport. 

"If we’re going to lower our emissions as a region, it is vital that we look at how best we can tackle this through a range of projects and funding pots.

“Promoting renewable energy and supporting the decarbonisation of rural communities across the region are central aspirations of the Humber’s Energy Strategy and we hope that local groups will take advantage of this opportunity.” 

At the first stage, grants of up to £40,000 can be applied for to fund work with an environmental consultant to conduct feasibility studies for the project and assess its longer term viability. 

If the project is deemed viable, further grants are available to support activity such as designing the scheme and applying for planning permission. However, capital funding for the project will need to be sought through other means, and there are several tried-and-tested models which applicants can get further advice on. 

For more information, email or call 01482 485270.