Western Power Distribution Community Chest (2010-14)

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

Project duration: July 2010 to July 2014

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. Each time a pot of £50,000 was distributed among some 60 or so groups including a water sports centre, a couple of churches and even a lobster hatchery.

The third round ran in 2014.

2014 recipients

58 community buildings received a Community Chest grant in 2014. Among them were Otterton Community Shop in Devon, which received a grant to install much-needed insulation to the walls, floor and loft.

Coastlands Family Church in Glamorgan got a grant to replace their old boiler with a brand-new efficient one, which will make a big difference to their heating costs.

East Quantoxhead Village Hall in Somerset received funding for two new water boilers and kettles, enabling them to keep the all-important cups of tea coming at a reduced price!

Hawkesbury Hospital Hall, a village hall in Gloucestershire, was able to install new lighting with dimmer switches, along with draught excluders for the external doors. “This is fantastic news and will make a real difference to us,” they said.

And in Cornwall, the Passmore Edwards Institute (Hayle’s village hall) will now be able to install low-energy lighting throughout the building. “I and all the Trustees would like to sincerely thank you for this grant,” said Ray. “This will greatly help the Institute to continue its contribution to the social and economic life of Hayle by reducing its running costs, along with a reduction in the hall’s carbon emissions.”

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

For further information contact:

Rachel Coxcoon | 0117 934 1426