Community grants of up to £2,500 from a local solar farm development.
Burnham and Weston Energy Sunshine Fund has been set up by Burnham and Weston Energy CIC using profits generated by one of the largest community solar projects in the UK, at Wick Farm.
The Sunshine Fund can help you turn your bright ideas into a reality. Whether your idea sparks something new, makes a good thing better, sees you working with a group or leading the charge, one goal your project must have is making your community or community organisation more sustainable. That could mean environmental, social and/or economic sustainability.
Burnham and Weston Energy CIC separately supports work in the area to help households struggling with fuel poverty.
Who can apply?
The fund is aimed at local community-led organisations including, but not limited to, small voluntary groups, clubs, charities, social enterprises, schools, health centres and parish/town councils.
As the fund is provided by Burnham and Weston Energy CIC, grants are available to projects and initiatives in an area stretching from Burnham-on-Sea in the south, Weston-super-Mare in the north, and inland to Mark and Winscombe. Please use this map to check that your project is within the eligible area.
An important goal for the fund is to support work that is devised, developed and led by members of the local community who also bring their own time, skills, and resources to the project.
Who can't apply?
The Sunshine Fund cannot support:
- Projects that would be eligible for statutory funding (but we will support eligible applications from statutory bodies for projects that would not be eligible for statutory funding);
- Political activity.
- Activities that promote religion (but we will support community projects led by faith-based organisations);
- Animal welfare (but we will support eligible projects that use animals to benefit the local community);
We can support projects that receive feed-in tariff (FiT) or renewable heat incentive (RHI) subsidy income, but would ask that applicants donate a percentage of the subsidy income equivalent to the percentage of installation costs funded to the Sunshine Fund, or commit to re-investing the income in further low carbon measures.
How much is available?
There is no lower limit, but the maximum will normally be £2,500 and we expect the average grant to be £1,000. Larger grants may be awarded, particularly for projects that will have tangible community-wide benefits or are particularly innovative for the area.
The Sunshine Fund will make awards of around £20,000 per year. Somerset Community Foundation will look to secure match funding where possible. We may be able to help you find further funding for energy measures, such as the ECO-funding for home energy measures and Salix funding for qualifying schools and public sector bodies.
How long are grants for?
We expect most of our grants to be spent within 12 months of the award date. We’ll ask you to submit a short report back to us within six weeks of the end of your grant. Reminders and a report form will be emailed to you.
What do we want to fund?
We want to fund projects that have a real legacy in the local area. The sort of things the Sunshine Fund is looking to support include:
- Projects which help reduce energy costs and carbon emission for local community buildings – such as fitting LED lighting, solar panels or ‘smart’ controls.
- Community-led activities that help reduce household energy costs and carbon emissions, such as draft proofing, insulation, and renewable energy.
- Projects which help develop local skills and knowledge, particularly in relation to energy, climate change and the environment.
- Community and low carbon transport projects, such as car clubs, electric vehicle chargers or a community mini-bus.
- Projects which reduce the amount of stuff going to landfill, and help communities make their most of their resources.
- Community-led ideas that help develop the local economy, local social enterprise and skills, prepare people for work or create jobs.
- Ideas that will help your community club or organisation (whatever it does) better serve your community, particularly the disadvantaged.
- Great ideas that we haven’t thought of !
How do I make an application?
We encourage all applicants to use our online application form, which can be accessed using the link below. This form allows you to save draft versions of your application and return to it later (via an email link sent to your inbox).
However, if you require a paper version of the application form then please call us on 01749 344949.
The form requires you to complete a series of questions about your group and your project, including your budget. You will also be asked to provide a referee (if you have not received a grant from us in the last three years) and upload supporting documents.