Funding of £300,000 backs scheme to reduce Cambridgeshire village’s oil dependency

Work begins at village renewable heat project. Council leader Steve Count and Emma Fletcher from the Swaffham Prior Community Land Trust met at the site. Picture: CAMBS COUNTY COUNCIL

Work begins at village renewable heat project. Council leader Steve Count and Emma Fletcher from the Swaffham Prior Community Land Trust met at the site. Picture: CAMBS COUNTY COUNCIL

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Funding of nearly £300,000 has been granted to a project which will see homes in an East Cambridgeshire village stop relying on oil and move to renewable heat.

The Swaffham Prior Community Land Trust (SPCLT) was set up by members of the village to deliver housing. A low carbon community heat scheme wil nowl enable a Cambridgeshire village to stop relying on oil and move to a renewable heat source. Picture: SWAFFHAM PRIOR PARISH COUNCIL.The Swaffham Prior Community Land Trust (SPCLT) was set up by members of the village to deliver housing. A low carbon community heat scheme wil nowl enable a Cambridgeshire village to stop relying on oil and move to a renewable heat source. Picture: SWAFFHAM PRIOR PARISH COUNCIL.

The Community Heat Scheme has won £232,000 of grant funding to develop and submit a planning application for Swaffham Prior.

So far around 60 per cent of the village, around 162 households, have expressed an interest in signing up to the scheme set to begin in March 2021.

It will reduce reliance on a fossil fuel and saving money.

The funding will be used for legal work on how to set up commercial arrangements, as well as work to develop heat agreements for residents connecting to the scheme.

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"Cambridgeshire County Council is committed to tackling the impacts of Climate Change and is proud to be working with Swaffham Prior on this ground breaking scheme" said Cllr Josh Schumann, chairman of the county council's commercial and investments committee.

"We want this scheme to become a blueprint for other villages keen to reduce their dependency on oil for heating and hot water."

The project was initiated by Swaffham Prior Community Land Trust which approached Cambridgeshire County Council in 2017.

Following a series of technical studies it was decided that the best option would be to install a ground source heat pump that would pump thermal energy through a network, into homes within the village.

The project has won £232,000 of grant funding from BEIS (the department for business, energy and industrial strategy) Heat Networks Delivery Unit (HDNU) which will be match funded by £66,000 from Cambridgeshire County Council.

To find out more about the work, go to the project website:https://heatingswaffhamprior.co.uk/ or email the team at: info@heatingswaffhamprior.co.uk.

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