The Bridgend County Energy Challenge is part of the Rural Development Programme for Wales which runs from 2014 to 2020. It is a European funded programme providing investment to support a wide range of activities covering objectives such as agriculture, climate action and development of rural communities.
In Bridgend County Borough, Reach is the team responsible for allocating funding to projects that will aim to achieve the ambitions of the wider Rural Development Plan for Wales programme. A number of projects have already been completed, not all of them energy specific, and you can see the full list here.
The Bridgend County Energy Challenge will run until 2020, supporting a rural community energy project in Bridgend and providing signposting for householders who need advice on keeping their home warm. The following projects have some similarities in their themes to the energy challenge and are worth looking at to see what’s been happening in Bridgend recently around energy and community action.
Countryside Volunteer Network
Reach set up this network of organisations who offer outdoor volunteering opportunities. This site has a blog and publicises opportunities on social media, making volunteering more easily accessible and allowing people to choose the best options for them. The network meets on a quarterly basis.
Opportunities for Community Renewable Energy Schemes in Rural Bridgend
The aim of this feasibility study was to have a better understanding of the options and viability of community renewable energy schemes. The conclusion of the project, which sought out interest among communities and identified 55 potential renewable sites, was that the most successful way forward would be to form a large community benefit society to develop multiple sites at once. Read the full report here.
Community Asset Transfer Research Study and Toolkit
This was a partnership project with Bridgend County Borough Council, which sought to provide a resource to support rural local groups to take on management of public assets, through the Community Asset Transfer Process. The project produced a toolkit, which can be accessed here.