Derrington Village Hall

Project

Derrington Village Hall

Organisation

Derrington Way Ahead

Summary

The project emerged initially as part of an ongoing programme of sustainable development initiatives supported by Stafford Borough Council and working with partners across the borough. In 2009 Derrington was successful with a bid into funding related to a Government initiative called ‘Learning to Deliver’. From that, Derrington Way Ahead was a pilot low carbon community project to look at ways to help whole communities become more sustainable and help tackle climate change.

Derrington Village Hall was one of many projects carried out by Derrington Way Ahead.  The building was costly to run, it was not insulated and there were no effective controls on the heating system.

Aims

  • Identify ways to cut carbon
  • Minimise our environmental footprint
  • See full organisational aims on their website

Challenges

  • To raise sufficient funds to upgrade the Village Hall. Accessing grant funding can be onerous and time consuming.
  • Having enough time – many of those involved already had other commitments and responsibilities.

Meeting aims/Overcoming challenges

  • Sufficient funding was raised to undertake measures that included: installation of zoned heating, re-roofing of three flat roof areas and the installation of a 24 panel Solar Photo Voltaic system.
  • In February 2011, following an energy audit and tendering in order to both reduce energy bills and outputs, 24 solar panels were fitted.
  • These measures have enabled the project to meet its aims of saving carbon and reducing the carbon footprint.

Results

  • Approximately £52,000 raised
  • Improved energy
  • Lower running costs
  • An additional income of between £2500 and £3000 per annum
  • Free electricity when solar panels are working
  • Reduction in community’s carbon footprint

Learning Points

Seed funding is important (eg to pay agency to undertake energy audit at the Village Hall for instance).

Tapping into local interest, commitment, enthusiasm, talent is essential – the local community must be right at the heart of this sort of work; they have been amazing and outstanding. Individual commitment and dynamism is irreplaceable. Work closely with existing groups but bring in other willing partners too; join in and join up with existing activities; try to engage with all groups/everyone; think out of the box; try new ideas but never dismiss what’s already happening; sustainable development can take many forms!

Communicate well; promote widely and effectively. Thank people!

SWM Comment

SWM commends the efforts of Stafford Borough Council in piloting this low carbon community project and the benefits that have been felt by the community.

Contact

K J Davies, Partnerships Co-ordinator, Stafford Borough Council on 01785 619408 or for more examples of sustainable communities, visit Stafford’s website.