Selsey Works are Awarded £20,000 to Tackle Fuel Poverty Through Ferry Farm Community Solar Project
Ben Cooper, Director of Ferry Farm Community Solar, presenting grant award to Sue Osborne of SelseyWorks
Initiative to support local residents who are choosing between ‘heating and eating’
SelseyWorks, the community initiative launched in 2014, has been awarded the first part of a grant which aims to total up to £60,000 over three years. The grant, which will be made available at the rate of £20,000 per annum, is earmarked to help tackle the increasing problem of fuel poverty in the area. The grant has been awarded by Ferry Farm Community Solar – the Community Benefits Society linked to the Ferry Farm Solar project in Sidlesham.
With fuel poverty a national issue, and a pocket of particular deprivation identified in Selsey, the grant will be used by SelseyWorks to deliver a Fuel Poverty initiative. The work will take the form of providing local people with advice about insulation, staying warm and using energy efficiently. The SelseyWorks team will also provide help and support with switching suppliers and providing information on domestic renewable energy schemes such as fixed price Solar PV panels. With a higher than average proportion of older people in the area, home visits will be available to ensure that those most likely to benefit will not miss out.
Sam Tate, Selsey Town Coordinator and Project Manager for SelseyWorks, comments: “We are delighted to have been awarded this grant to help us help local families. SelseyWorks is focused on providing much needed resources and facilities for local people and this initiative will help ensure that our residents have access to all the information and support they need to reduce their fuel bills and avoid making tough decisions such as choosing between heating or eating.”
Ben Cooper, Director of Ferry Farm Community Solar, adds: “SelseyWorks has proven experience with a range of community initiatives and supports local families with housing issues, job seeking, benefits and financial advice, so we felt that it was very well placed to deliver this important work. A key part of the rationale for Ferry Farm is to ensure that the wider community benefits from our green energy scheme so we are hoping this ongoing agreement can be rolled out successfully over the next 3 years to help local people in a practical way.”
About Selsey Works
SelseyWorks is a social enterprise project which launched in Selsey on 31st January 2014. It aims to address several community issues including local unemployment, the challenges of seasonal tourism and agricultural employment and the local skills gap. More information is available at www.selseyworks.co.uk
About Ferry Farm Community Solar
The Ferry Farm Community Solar project is a 5 megawatt solar array just north of Selsey, West Sussex. The solar farm has been up and running and generating electricity and income from the sun since June 2016. It is expected to provide the equivalent power to the annual electricity consumption of around 1,300 houses for the next 25 – 30 years.
Ferry Farm Community Solar Ltd, a Community Benefit Society governed by local people, raised over £300,000 through a community share offer in 2016. The first share interest payments were paid in July 2017.
Surplus income generated by the solar farm is used to support community organisations and projects in Selsey and Sidlesham. Over its lifetime the community solar project is expected generate around £1 million of community funding.
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