WREN is launching an exciting, new £9,000 community benefit fund to support environmental and sustainability projects, or projects that aim to inform and educate on environmental and sustainability issues. This gives a wide scope, including energy, water, soil, river and ocean, biodiversity, pollution, transport, climate change, food, recycling, the natural environment, wildlife, and more.
The fund is for not-for-profit organisations and groups operating in the Padstow and Wadebridge Community Network area. This area comprises the county electoral divisions of Padstow, St Issey & St Tudy, Wadebridge West, Wadebridge East, and St Minver & St Endellion, and is larger than the areas typically covered by wind and solar farm community funds. The money has been donated by Clean Earth Energy Ltd, a Wadebridge-based renewable energy company.
The new fund is in addition to the funds based on wind and solar installations, which help provide funding for a range of social, cultural or sporting projects in our local area. These might be run, for example, by youth groups, neighbourhood groups, charities, sports clubs, schools, churches, arts groups, or by those helping vulnerable people.
WREN currently administers three such funds, totaling over £60,000, that have been generated by local renewable installations, whether solar or wind. These funds are a result of Section 106 commitments made by developers when planning consent was given. They are restricted to organisations in specific towns or parishes, those in the vicinity of the installation.
Decisions on who should receive grants are not made by WREN, but by a committee or panel, drawn from the relevant parishes or towns. Panel members may include local councillors, staff from WREN and people independent of both councils and WREN.
In September 2014 the Middle Treworder Community Fund made its first awards totalling £10,000. The Fund runs on an annual basis for 20 years with £10,000 uprated annually for inflation. It is available to organisations in Wadebridge town, and St Kew, St Mabyn and Egloshayle parishes.
In March 2016 the first awards were made from the St. Breock Wind Farm Community Fund which has an annual value of £50,000 plus inflation for 20 years. This is available to projects which benefit people in St Breock, Withiel, St. Wenn, Wadebridge, Egloshayle, St. Issey and St. Columb.
The third fund is from Wadebridge Energy Company’s solar installation at Nanstallon, established by WREN, which supplies all its electricity to the neighbouring South West Water sewage treatment works. This is worth £500 a year to Lanivet parish, which has decided to use it for the village of Nanstallon. It opened for the first time in September 2017.
All the Community Funds are publicly advertised in the local press, on the WREN website and through WREN Newsletters sent out to Members and other interested parties.
In earlier years, when WREN made a surplus from its activities, it used this for its own community fund, with beneficiaries chosen by WREN members casting their votes. £5,000 was distributed in 2012 and again in 2013.
In May 2015, the first awards were made from Pengelly CE Wind Ltd. £10,000 per year of funding for community groups was available to voluntary and community groups in the St Breock and Wadebridge areas. This was a voluntary arrangement, and the donor has now made their own arrangements for the funds, so that the last awards were made in 2017.
Click here to see which fund is currently open and previous fund awards.
Fund dates for 2019 Awards
|Fund||Open||Close||Decisions made by|
|WREN||1st Nov 2018||18th Jan 2019||End of February 2019|
|St Breock||1st Dec 2018||16th Feb 2019||End of March 2019|
|Treworder||1st July 2019||13th Sep 2019||End of September 2019|
|Nanstallon||18th Sep 2019||31st Oct 2019||End of November 2019|