Bristol Community Building Fund

Making communal spaces greener and cheaper to run

Project duration: August 2014 to November 2014

[This fund closed in November 2014. Thanks to everyone who applied, and we hope that the grants we gave out have made your community facilities warmer, brighter and cheaper to run!]

The Bristol Community Building Fund was a grant scheme from Bristol City Council which helped local voluntary groups make their community buildings more energy efficient.

The £20,000 fund was managed by CSE and offered local voluntary groups up to £4,000 for improvements like better insulation, a heating system upgrade, or more efficient windows and doors (but not renewable energy technologies).

There were seven lucky recipients:

Trinity Centre, Easton (upgraded to LED lighting and installation of automatic sensors);
Greenway Centre, Southmead (installation of double glazing in main hall)
Zion Community Art Space, Bedminster Down (new secondary glazing throughout)
St Mary Redcliffe Church (more efficient heating system controls) 
SouthBank Centre, Bedminster (new boiler)
St Martin’s Community Hall, Knowle (new radiators)

We've run a similar scheme (the WPD Community Chest) three times in the past in partnership with Western Power Distribution. Community shops, village and church halls, and community centres received funding to install improvements including insulation, low-energy lighting, new water boilers, efficient boilers and heating systems and draught-proofing.

The application process 

Only buildings in the Bristol City Council area used as community facilities were eligible for the grant, e.g. church halls, community centres, sports clubs, scout huts. 

The maximum grant per building was £4,000, but groups were only awarded as much as if they had an exceptional project likely to achieve very high carbon savings. Projects that demonstrated they have matched funding were strongly welcomed.

Applicants were asked to: carry out a simple energy audit of their community building using this template; decide which energy efficiency improvements they wanted to make and get quotes for the work from more than one company; and fill in the application form. And as well as help available by phone or email, we also provided this guidance.

Images: SouthBank Club; William Avery

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