The two 500kW Community Wind Turbines in Kingswood, Stroud are owned and operated by Resilient Energy Mounteneys Renewables (REMR), a Community Benefit Society registered with the Financial Conduct Authority.
The turbines were installed in March 2017 with commissioning completed April 2017. The turbines are generating clean, green electricity in line with expectations and are well placed to deliver against the society’s social aims over the turbine’s operational lifetime. These include establishing the REMR Community Resilience Fund to help address the current needs and future challenges in the host communities of Kingswood, Wickwar, Hillesley and their immediate environs.
The society is committed to making a positive difference locally in addition to the environmental benefits directly associated with the generation of renewable energy.
PROGRESS TOWARDS THE OPENING OF THE REMR COMMUNITY RESILIENCE FUND
The Society has now established the community fund mechanisms, with the opening of the first round of applications to the REMR Community Resilience Fund.
The fund criteria and mechanism of operation are outlined below. The Society has received a number of enquiries regarding possible applications to the fund in relation to eligibility criteria. Whilst individual responses at this stage are not considered appropriate, it is hoped that the information provided below will provide clarity.
We are currently inviting applications from residents of Kingswood, Wickwar, Hillesley and environs to join an Advisory Panel which will assist the society in allocating funds when the first funding round opens. Scroll down for further details and a link to the on-line application form.
COMMUNITY FUND CRITERIA and PURPOSE
The purpose of the REMR Community Resilience Fund has been publicly stated from the outset of this community energy project, including at the pre-planning stage.
To help build community resilience in Kingswood, Wickwar, Hillesley and environs by addressing current needs and future challenges.
Applicants will be required to explain how the funding they seek will help to build community resilience in this defined area and will be required to show a basic understanding of what this means within the application form through guided questions.
The Society will be keen to receive applications for projects/actions which will help to create a lasting legacy, providing social, environmental and/or local economic benefits for the community. There will be no requirement for match funding as with some community grant schemes. However, applicants may leverage additional funds by the use of a successful funding award from the REMR Turbines Community Resilience Fund as match funding for another funding stream.
Retrospective applications (ie where expenditure has already been incurred) will not be eligible to apply for funding.
ESTABLISHMENT & ROLE OF ADVISORY PANEL
The Society believes that those living within the community are best placed to understand the community strengths and weaknesses, and therefore determine appropriate responses to its needs and challenges.
The REMR Turbine Community Fund Advisory Panel will be established ahead of the opening of the first round of applications to the Community Fund. It will assist the Society by reviewing applications received in each particular funding round, against the Fund Criteria. The Advisory Panel will be Chaired by The Resilience Centre (the Society’s appointed Manager) who will oversee proceedings on behalf of the Society and provide an admin function, but will have no voting rights on funding allocations.
The appointed Advisory Panel members will be briefed on community resilience, and at each funding round they will then have the role of assessing the eligibility of applications against the criteria, and collectively deciding on the allocations of funding. The application process will be competitive and not all eligible applications to the Community Resilience Fund will be supported. The decision regarding allocation of available funds by the Advisory Panel will be final. Feedback will, however, be provided to all applicants.
APPLY TO JOIN THE REMR COMMUNITY RESILIENCE FUND ADVISORY PANEL
Applications for a voluntary role on the REMR Community Resilience Fund Advisory Panel are now invited by the Board of Resilient Energy Mounteneys Renewables Limited. Completed applications will be accepted until 10th September 2018. Applicants must be a current resident of Kingswood, Wickwar, Hillesley or immediate environs and supportive of community wind energy and the society’s aims.
The Application Form can be downloaded, printed, and completed by hand, or accessed directly from the webpage here:
There are just 4 questions to answer on-line or you can print and return the form by post/email if preferred to the address stated on the form.
The selection of the Advisory Panel members will be decided by the board of REMR. Applications are invited from individuals only i.e. there will be no nominated representatives of other organisations on the Advisory Panel. Appointed Advisory Panel members may have associations with other community organisations in the area but will be ineligible to vote on applications to the REMR Community Resilience Fund received from any organisation with which they have such associations.
Successful applicants to join the Advisory Panel will be notified during the first week of August 2018. Initial appointments will be for a minimum of 1 year and a maximum of 3 years.
REMR COMMUNITY RESILIENCE FUND – FIRST ROUND TO OPEN IN AUGUST 2018
Application Forms for applying to the REMR Community Resilience Fund will be available on this webpage from 15thAugust 2018 with an application deadline of 30th September 2018 expected to be confirmed at that time. Applications will be considered by the appointed Advisory Panel within 6 weeks of the application deadline.
GEOGRAPHICAL ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR FUND APPLICATIONS
Whilst the majority of successful applications to the Community Resilience Fund are anticipated to be from applicants in the Kingswood, Wickwar, Hillesley and immediate surrounding area, applications from further afield may be considered, at the discretion of the appointed Advisory Panel, but only where the applicant can clearly evidence that there would be significant benefits to the communities of Kingswood, Wickwar, Hillesley and environs.
REMR Community Resilience Fund Allocations
The society has committed to the allocation of 4% of turnover to help build community resilience in Kingswood, Wickwar, Hillesley and environs, by addressing current needs and future challenges. This is implemented via the establishment of the REMR Community Resilience Fund which was launched in 2018. There is no planning obligation for this (it is a voluntary commitment which has been an inherent part of the project from the initial concept and first public exhibition prior to the planning approval).
The funding will fluctuate each year dependent on the wind speeds experienced, and the subsequent income the society receives for electricity exported to the local grid.
REMR made the following grants from the REMR Community Resilience Fund in the first round with allocations made by an Advisory Panel of 11 local volunteers from the Kingswood, Wickwar and Hillesley area.
£5000 towards the St Marys Memorial Garden project, Kingswood. The project will create not only a pleasant garden space for reflection, but also a community facility where local people can come together and meet. It will deliver added benefits for both physical and mental health; important aspects in building community resilience. The Advisory Panel was encouraged by the funding secured from other grant sources, the work on the project completed to date, and the commitment of volunteers to ensure the project’s successful maintenance for future generations.
£650 to Wickwar Youth Club for installation of external LED lighting at the Youth Centre. The Advisory Panel recognises the cuts in availability of funding for youth projects in recent years and the hard work by the volunteers of Wickwar Youth Centre over many years. The panel is supportive of the continuation of the Youth Centre, and recognises its importance in terms of community resilience, particularly given the often limited youth provision in rural areas, and noting the high level of usage of the Wickwar Youth Centre. The Panel was also pleased to support the use of LED lighting minimising the energy used, reducing running costs and future maintenance costs.
£4000 to the Jubilee Field Management Committee, Hillesley – for improvements to the Children’s Play Area, the Hopkins Hall and the Sports Pavilion and (following evidence of successful completion of Phase 1) an additional £3000 for Phase 2 play and fitness equipment (subject to provision of supporting quotes). Securing the future for existing community assets is a key step in building community resilience. The improvements to the Hopkins Hall and Sports Pavillion are designed to make the facilities safer and more attractive so that they could be let more easily for functions. The project will also deliver community health benefits resulting from increased child activity due to the planned installation of play equipment, and the area provides an important role in community cohesion for both children and their parents/carers. The Advisory Panel believes the project will provide good value for the REMR Community Resilience Fund contribution, noting the high level of volunteer involvement, and the improvements to the facilities which will likely lead to more bookings, providing income to cover future maintenance costs.
£2184 for the provision of a defibrillator to service Hawkesbury, Inglestone, Harely and Assley Commons. The area is sparsely populated (but well used by walkers, cyclists) and it is currently some distance to assistance if a local resident or other member of the public is in need. The project includes consultation with the community on the defibrillator location and the training of volunteers. The Advisory Panel is aware that all ages can be affected by heart issues, and believes the requested contribution is a relatively small cost for potentially saving lives.
Applications to the fund which meet the fund criteria are considered twice yearly with deadlines for receipt of applications for each round at the end of April and end of October each year.
REMR Community Resilience Fund Advisory Panel
The society has now filled all 11 vacancies on the REMR Community Resilience Fund Advisory Panel which is made up of individual representatives of Kingswood, Wickwar and Hillesley. Current Panel members are:
R Alexander, R Davis, B Howes, S Jenkins, P Revill, T Roberts,
J Simmons, F Symes, P Trull, P Whitbread, R Woodland
Appointments are for 1-3 years. If you would like to register interest in joining the panel and be kept informed when a vacancy arises please email REACR@theresiliencecentre.co.uk.