Thrive Renewables Community Benefit Programme
CSE supports communities to take local action on the climate crisis, and one way we do this is to support them to make energy efficiency changes to their local community buildings. Find out if your community building is eligible, and fill out an application form, below.
Since 2015 we have supported communities to save money, save carbon and have warmer community buildings through administering the Thrive Renewables Community Benefit programme. This programme gives grants of up to £4,500 to cover improvements such as insulation, draught-proofing, LED lighting or improved heating controls to community buildings, like village halls and community centres.
2023 is the seventh year this grant programme has run, and this year a total of £33,000 is available. The programme is open to community buildings within a 20-mile radius of one of the 17 wind, hydro, solar or battery storage sites in which Thrive Renewables is invested (see map and list of postcodes below). An application form is downloadable on this page, as is the guidance document which will tell you whether your building is eligible and what we are looking for in the applications. Applications for 2023 have now closed.
Energy essentials training for applicants
In response to the energy crisis and rising cost of living, we are delivering energy essentials training to all applicants and the communities they work in throughout October 2023, November 2023, and January 2024. The three online webinars cover:
- Fuel poverty awareness and basic energy advice. This lunchtime webinar took place on Wednesday 25 October. The session covers what fuel poverty is and how it’s impacting our communities. We provide guidance on how to identify if someone is in fuel poverty and how community groups can support energy saving initiatives. You can watch the recording here.
For further support, you can find your nearest energy charity using this spreadsheet.
- Community approaches to tackling fuel poverty. This took place in the evening on Wednesday 22 November and explored community-level initiatives for supporting people to reduce their carbon emissions and lower their bills. The aim is to help communities understand how build longer-term community energy resilience. You can watch a recording of the seminar here.
- Energy efficiency in your community building. A morning webinar 11am to 12.15pm on Thursday 18 January. This session will provide an overview of what to consider to make your building more energy efficient – whether that’s through zero-cost behaviour changes or higher-cost measures like renewable technologies. We will also showcase up to five of the successful groups at this online session to act as inspiration to other community groups. You can sign up to the webinar here.
What criteria do buildings need to meet to apply for funding?
Below is a list of site names and postcodes of Thrive Renewables developments. Community buildings need to be within 20 miles of one of these to be eligible for the fund.
|Sigurd KW17 2NL|
Clayfords AB43 6RQ
Auchtygills AB43 6RQ
Beochlich PA33 1BW
Dunfermline KY11 8UD
Loch a’Bhraoin IV23 2RB
Drumduff FK1 2JU
Avonmouth BS11 0YS
Boardinghouse PE15 0YN
|Ransonmoor PE15 0TY|
March PE15 0UW
Eye IP23 8BW
Ness Point NR32 1UZ
Feeder Road BS5 9BU
Haverigg II LA18 4NB
Caton Moor LA2 9HF
Wicken MK19 6BS
If your building fits these criteria, the next step is to complete a basic energy survey to help you identify the most appropriate improvements. You’ll also need to get some quotes for the improvements identified, fill in the short application form and return it to us by post or email.
We’re also looking for applications from community groups who can share our online energy essentials training with their community. This is so our knowledge about tackling fuel poverty and energy efficiency at the community level can reach as many people as possible.
If you need more support to identify appropriate upgrades for your community building, get in touch. We can get you started and provide guidance on things like:
- How to find an installer.
- Low and zero cost energy saving improvements.
- Other sources of funding and finance for community buildings.
Over the last few years, the grants have been awarded to many buildings including community centres, village halls, a cricket pavilion and a youth centre. Just like Eastside Community Trust.
As part of the 2022 round, Thrive awarded £3,573 to Eastside Community Trust so that they could insulate their loft and add additional pipe insulation. Feedback from users of the building showed that the improvements had made a big difference.
We could definitely feel the office is warmer. It’s the talk of the office now!
Groups meeting in the other spaces have also felt the difference and said it’s made the building much more comfortable, even on the coldest days.
The building has been very busy all winter as a ‘welcome centre’, with much higher footfall than previous years. They have had overwhelmingly positive feedback from tenants and other users, both verbally and as evidenced by the number of people lingering in the space throughout the day.
Some new visitors began coming every day and staying until the building closed in the evening, telling staff they felt comfortable and welcome like they were in their own homes. The welcome centre was also recently featured on iTV.
How to apply
Complete a DIY energy survey of your community building and download an application form. Simply fill it in and send it back to us via email or post – all information is on the form. Use our guidance document to help you, or feel free to get in touch with any questions.
For further information contact