National Lottery Awards Community Energy South £1.5 Million to Boost Jobs and Growth in Community Energy Sector

Mentoring and training

Thanks to National Lottery players, Community Energy South has been awarded £1.5m from The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest community funder in the UK, to deliver its Community Energy People project over three years.  

Community energy brings people together to deliver community-owned safe, clean renewable energy, and advise on how to use less and help to make it affordable for all.  

Community Energy People

The Community Energy People project will accelerate the growth of the sector and enable eleven community energy groups across 11 counties to employ people for the first time, recruit more volunteers and deliver more projects, and faster. The new workforce will represent a diverse range of communities, and open doors to a much broader audience who will benefit from the services provided.  

Community Energy South will provide training and mentoring to those groups, as well as governance, HR, and marketing support. 

Nicola Davidson, Pathways Project Manager from Community Energy South said:

“Most of the groups we work with have done amazing things with a small core team of volunteers. But it’s hard to grow projects and impact from volunteer time only.

“This funding will enable groups to increase their capacity and ambition by creating 33 jobs across 11 community energy groups, bring on 100 volunteers and provide up to 50,000 people with energy saving advice. We will also see the creation of more renewable generation projects that are community owned.” 

Boosting jobs and growth

The first five community energy groups to receive funding across the country are: 

Rossendale Valley Energy, East Lancashire 

Energise South Downs, East Hampshire 

MaidEnergy, Berkshire 

Sustainable Danbury, Essex 

Zero Carbon Guildford, Surrey   

Further down the line, groups in several other counties Community Energy South operates in, will also benefit from this funding.  

Catriona Cockburn of Energise South Downs said:

“We are passionate about empowering communities to speed up the energy transition. The funding enables Community Energy Groups like Energise South Downs to drive forward locally owned energy projects for the benefit of local people with profits going back into our local communities and creates more energy security. We’re excited to have the continued support, guidance, and experience of Community Energy South along the way.” 

Community Energy South is launching a groundbreaking addition to its services as part of the Community Energy People project. CES is working with the Social Value Portal to measure the facilitated impact of the great work community energy groups carry out.  CES will support the community energy groups in capturing evidence such as CO2 emissions saved, expert business advice given, innovative measures devised to promote local skills, more resilient communities and safeguard the environment. 

Ollie Pendered, CEO, Community Energy South said:

“Chris Skidmore of the UK Climate Change Committee said ‘We need to turbo charge community energy’, and this National Lottery funding enables us to do exactly that. The Climate Change Committee demonstrated that we can’t get to Net Zero without active involvement of communities and community energy groups. These projects create jobs and income for local people, help communities take action on climate change and enable profits to go straight back into their neighbourhoods. Community energy builds local resilience and is here to stay.” 

The £1.5m grant comes from the Climate Action Fund, a £100 million commitment over 10 years from The National Lottery Community Fund to support communities across the UK to take action on climate change and involve more people in climate action. This forms part of one of the funders four key missions in its 2030 strategy, ‘It starts with community’ – supporting communities to be environmentally sustainable.  


National Lottery Awards Community Energy South £1.5 Million To Boost Jobs & Growth In Community Energy Sector

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