Western Power Distribution Community Chest (2010-15)

£50,000 for communities in the Midlands, the South West and South Wales to reduce their energy use

Project duration: July 2010 to October 2015

The WPD Community Chest is a grant scheme – funded by the network operator, Western Power Distribution (WPD), and administered by CSE – which distributes grants of up to £1,000 to communities to reduce their energy use.

It aims to help local groups make energy saving improvements to village halls, scout huts and other similar community buildings.

It is open to groups in WPD's area which covers the Midlands, the South West and South Wales. The types of measures undertaken included roof insulation, cavity wall insulation, boiler replacement, new heating controls, double or secondary glazing, draught proofing, energy efficient lighting, lighting sensors, more efficient taps, and white goods replacement.

The scheme ran for the first time in 2010-11 and was repeated in 2012 and again in 2014. Each time a pot of £50,000 was distributed among some 50-60 groups including a water sports centre, a couple of churches and even a lobster hatchery.

The fourth round ran in 2015.

2015 recipients

55 community buildings received a Community Chest grant in 2015.

Patchway Community Centre in South Gloucestershire was one of many community facilities to apply successfully for LEDs to replace less ecomonical lighting. A spokesperson for the centre said: “The LED lights now installed in our dim hall have made an amazing difference - as if someone has come along and cut skylights in the ceiling. The hall is now very bright and cheerful and the total power usage has been halved, or better.”

Other improvements funded by the scheme in 2015 include loft and cavity wall insulation, new windows or doors, new heaters or boilers and more efficient electrical appliances. The Old Post Centre in Derbyshire was able to replace three very draughty windows, and building managers are delighted with the improvement in both comfort and aesthetics. And the Arts Factory in Rhondda, South Wales are looking forward to a warmer winter thanks to their new combi boiler. Elsewhere Knappe Cross Community Centre in Devon will be making huge savings from installing cavity wall insulation to keep the heat in.

To apply, groups needed to submit an energy survey of their building, quotes for the proposed work and a completed application form.

Funding was awarded on a first come first served basis to groups with suitable applications and closed when the grant pot was used up.

Click on the links below to read news stories about the various rounds of the WPD Community Chest:

4 November 2010 | Energy efficiency grants for communities
20 June 2012 | Grant success for dozens of community groups
15 February 2012 | Western Power Distribution restocks 'community chest' 
21 February 2014 | The WPD Community Chest is back!
2 June 2014 | The Community Chest closes after awarding £50,000
WPD fund supports 55 communities

For further information contact:

Rachel Coxcoon | 0117 934 1426