Greater Manchester Centre for Voluntary Organisation

Community Energy Greater Manchester

Working with 10:10, GMCVO has secured funding from Tudor Trust and Urban Community Energy Fund to support 20 community hubs in Greater Manchester to finance the installation of solar panels. We have agreed to pool our collective experience to support and develop a network of community hubs in Greater Manchester to install solar photovoltaic panels, engage community members in energy issues and explore energy efficiency and fuel poverty.

Following the project's launch in January 2016, we will start to set up and support a community benefit society (CBS) which will issue community shares to raise funds to install solar. The society will also install, own and maintain the solar panels.

Hubs will do some of their own fundraising, following support and training to use a crowdfunding web portal The hubs can then invest in solar. The fundraising activities will enable the hubs to draw community members into the project and start discussions about energy issues.

The community hubs involved:

• Brunswick Parish Church
• Deeplish Community Centre
• Disability Stockport
• Harpurhey Neighbourhood Project
• Hulme Community Garden Centre
• KYP Unique Enterprise Centre
• KYP Unity House (Apna Gar Day Centre)
• Levenshulme Inspire
• Longsight Youth Centre/Wesley Community Furniture Project
• Manchester Settlement
• MERCi/Bridge 5 Mill
• Sparth Community Centre
• St John's Community Centre
• St John's Church
• St Thomas Centre
• St Wilfrid's Centre/Firmstart
• Tsaboath Centre
• Tree of Life Centre
• United Estates of Wythenshawe
• Whitemoss Club for Young People

Through exploratory workshops, hubs said that they would value having access to time and expertise and the opportunity to learn and share experiences with peers. They feel that the crowdfunding element of the project will make the project more legitimate and, in the longer term, lead to a better funding proposition for fuel poverty and energy efficiency work. With solar panels on their roofs they could also become visible role models for energy-related issues.

Hubs fundraising will run until June 2016. The community benefit society will then issue community shares for those who would rather invest than donate. The solar panels will be installed between July and September 2016.

This project builds on the success and experience of GMCVO’s Generating Success project and 10:10’s Solar Schools scheme.

Contact: Ali Crush, 0161 277 1022,

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