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Empowering our Communities

New £250k fund sparks interest for local community groups

Groups across the North West are being invited to bid for a quarter of a million pounds-worth of funding to address energy issues across the region to ensure no customers are left behind.

Electricity North West, the region’s electricity network operator, has launched the ‘Empowering our Communities’ fund to help communities become more resilient, through generating their own energy, supporting energy efficiency or promoting information to help customers in vulnerable circumstances.  

Empowering our Communities is a newly-created fund following the amalgamation of the firm’s successful Powering our Communities fund and Vulnerable Customer Grants.

The combination of the two funds means more money is now available to help improve communities throughout the North West.

Criteria is broad and applications will be accepted from a range of organisations including community benefit societies, industrial provident societies, charities, schools and local authorities.

Applications, which close at midnight on Friday, November 8, must demonstrate community involvement or local benefit of the project. 

Electricity North West’s community energy manager, Helen Seagrave, said: “This is an exciting time for community groups across the North West to apply for potentially life changing funds.

“Our two previous funds were extremely popular and we wanted to combine them to offer even more money for groups to apply for.

“There is a big onus on communities being more resilient, and as the region’s power network operator, we want to offer support where possible.

“Community groups can encourage resilience in their areas, through community energy projects or promoting Electricity North West’s Priority Services Register and sharing information about how to engage with us.

“The funding can be used to support a wide range of activities including producing materials, buying equipment, supporting staff time or technical expertise and much, much more.”

Electricity North West has created criteria which is broad as communities have their own innovative ideas on how they can increase resilience and bring community-wide benefit.

Funding from £1,000 - £50,000 is up for grabs and successful applicants will be notified in February 2020 for projects to start in April 2020.

The majority of the project must be located in the Electricity North West licence area. Application forms should be submitted to communityandlocalenergy@enwl.co.uk

For more information about the Empowering our Communities fund, please visit https://www.enwl.co.uk/empoweringourcommunities/.