Arkwright Meadows Community Gardens (AMC), based in the Meadows are celebrating the install of a new poly tunnel skin thanks to a £3,500 grant from Nottinghamshire Community Energy (NCE) Benefit Fund.
NCE distributes £20,000 in grant funding every year, donated from their 5 megawatt solar farm in Colston Bassett, Nottinghamshire.
The NCE fund, facilitated by local climate change charity, Nottingham Energy Partnership, helps local charities, schools and not for profit organisations fund initiatives with a renewable technology, carbon reduction or sustainable living focus.
AMC Garden’s replacement poly tunnel roof was well overdue and was starting to affect the year-round productivity of the gardens. It is an essential piece of kit, providing a weatherproof space for volunteers and staff to grow plants and vegetables from seed which are sold to generate income. In the summer it houses fruit, tomatoes, and other seasonal vegetables and in winter, it hosts volunteer sessions and again, grows plants from seed.
Ellie Kirkwood, AMC’s Funding Officer comments:
The new skin is brilliant, it is more airtight, looks smart and it sets us up for the next seven years so a great outcome all round.
NCE’s grant of £3,500 was the key funding that we needed, it was great news to hear that our application had been approved. We were lucky to secure match funding from Jones 1986, a generous private donation, Lindley’s Autocentres and Bentick Lodge Freemasons. Funding support for this project has been so successful that we have been able to start work on the water harvesting element of the project.
We use a lot of water in the summer for our plants, to be able to maintain the plants with rainwater harvested from the Poly tunnel roof will help to lower our reliance on mains water. We are always working on ways to make the gardens sustainable for the future and being self-sufficient in this way will be a big step towards that goal.
Read AMC’s Case Study
Philip Angus, Nottinghamshire Community Energy Chairman, commented:
“We are delighted to be able to part fund AMC Garden’s poly tunnel roof – the gardens are widely used by the community and provide a much-needed green space for its volunteers and visitors. We look forward to launching our next round of grant funding and seeing how we can help more organisations make substantial, sustainable improvements to the spaces they care about.”
NCE’s solar farm powers 1,150 local homes with clean green energy and is owned by individual shareholders looking to make an ethical investment, and by NEP itself.
Grants of a minimum of £2,000 and a maximum of £10,000 are available; projects with match funding are looked at favourably.
Nottinghamshire Community Energy, a 5MW solar farm is financed through a unique partnership between local investors, NEP, a regional pension fund and a bank.
NCE Community Fund is donated by Nottinghamshire Community Energy (NCE), a Community BenefitSociety that owns and operates the solar farm. The Community Fund is managed by a sub-committee of the Board of Directors.
On an annual basis the Directors approve a sum to be awarded to the Community Fund. The intention is to award £20,000 to the Community Fund every year for the first 3 years of the operation of the solar farm. It is anticipated that this will increase in later stages of the project with a total of over £1.8 million over the 25 year life of the solar farm.
Nottingham Energy partnership is an independent not-for-profit climate change and fuel poverty charity, established in 2001. They are a registered Home Improvement Agency and are Queen’s Award winners in Sustainable Development.