Management and use of the community fund
The Newton Downs community solar farm is anticipated to generate a minimum of £20,000 per year to support the community fund if current proposals come to fruition.
The community fund will be managed and distributed by YCE, probably via an independent group with members drawn from community stakeholders and YCE members. YCE will consult its members and local stakeholders on the criteria for use of the fund and its governance arrangements.
Key governance principles will include:
- membership involvement,
- broad local publicity of calls for awards and information about awards made,
- liaison with parish councils or parish meetings, and other tiers of local government,
- appropriate evaluation and reporting arrangements.
Scope of projects supported
The scope of projects the community funds might support is not intended to be over-restrictive, noting that community needs are likely to change over the duration of the project. However, likely areas of support will include:
- alleviation of energy poverty,
- low carbon initiatives,
- support for environmental improvements, improving climate change mitigation or adaptation,
- benefits for younger people in the community, including practical and support for education concerning the environment, health, healthy living, risk, and individual and public safety,
- other charitable purposes that may include, but are not limited to, education, health, and general welfare.
Funding will be open to any community organization operating within the Yealm area, such as local charities, properly constituted groups, and schools (or PTAs). Applications falling into the categories above with evident widespread community support will be given preference, especially those from Neighbourhood Plans. Projects should benefit communities in the Yealm area – parishes of Brixton, Holbeton, Newton & Noss, Wembury, and Yealmpton.
Individuals may not apply.
No fixed limit is set for awards, but it is likely that smaller awards (less than £1,000) and larger awards (greater than £1,000) will be made. A simplified application process is likely for small awards.
For an initial period of three years, half the fund will be allocated to projects initiated by YCE to help establish the purpose of the fund within the community, and half to application-led grants. After the first three years, projects initiated by YCE will be subject to decisions made by the fund management group.
Projects initiated by YCE will focus on energy and fuel poverty and are likely to include:
- Providing an energy advice service, focusing on households in fuel poverty. This will be delivered by experienced individuals or partner organizations (such as Plymouth Energy Community) under a contract. Matched funding will be sought to maximize impact.
- Energy efficiency and renewable energy measures for local community buildings.
- Supporting initiatives in local plans that are likely to reduce carbon usage in the communities (such as those to promote walking or cycling over use of motor vehicles, help with charging points for electric vehicles, or use of community vehicles).