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Rural communities receive funding for renewable energy projects

Thirty local renewable energy projects stretching from Cornwall to Cumbria are the first recipients of the government’s Rural Community Energy Fund (RCEF).

Over £500,000 has been assigned to help develop bespoke projects across England.

The first 30 projects receiving funding represent a spectrum of technologies, including community scale anaerobic digestion, solar power, hydro and wind as well as renewable and low carbon heat networks.

All have sought government support to help raise funding to help realise their ambitions, enabling them to implement environmentally friendly sources of energy at a local level.

In Cumbria, RCEF is supporting a project which aims to provide heat directly to a local primary school from a community owned anaerobic digestion facility.

A joint initiative between Defra and DECC, the £15 million Rural Community Energy Fund was created to help community groups based in rural areas develop their own local renewable energy projects.

Administered by resource efficiency experts WRAP, the fund provides up to £150,000 of funding to individual projects for feasibility and pre-planning development work to help them become investment ready.

Environment and rural affairs minister Dan Rogerson said: This fund will strengthen the rural economy, safeguard the environment, and will allow communities to unlock the potential of renewable energy. Since launching we’ve seen a wide range of projects given the green light and I urge more people to apply and make the most of this opportunity to get their local project off the ground.”

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