St Agnes Sports Club
When St Agnes Sports Club launched a campaign for a share of the £300,000 energyfund Cornwall grant funding, the whole community got behind it, including their local Parish Council and Councillor. The club provides facilities for a range of local sports clubs, and offers a venue and support to many other local organisations and charities, making it an integral part of the community.
Engaging as many people as possible in healthy activity and caring for the environment were important values the club wanted to uphold throughout their campaign, with the overall aim of becoming financially and environmentally sustainable for the future.
Over 900 people showed their support for the club’s bid, generated through social media, email campaigns and meetings with community groups including the local school, which helped to secure the majority of the funding it needed to install solar panels.
With total project costs of approximately £52,000, the £33,000 grant from energyfund Cornwall initially enabled the club to upgrade their electrical supply, get the correct infrastructure in place and install some of the planned panels.
Drawing on their own funds and securing an additional 5-year loan from the RFU to make up the shortfall meant St Agnes Sports Club could continue with their planned installation of panels on the main buildings.
Despite setbacks with panel availability and correct registration of electricity supply, the project kept moving forward, thanks to support from local firms Norman Electrics, RBS Groundworks, Cornwall Home Energy Surveys and Western Power Distribution.
A redesign by local contractors Natural Generation also meant that all the solar panels could be installed on the main bar building and adjoining changing rooms, resulting in a much neater job and no need to use additional buildings as they had originally planned. Following completion of the installation, St Agnes Sports Club began generating power in May 2015.
The club aim to use their initial FIT payments to pay back the RFU loan in the first five years. After this period, the club will use the revenue from the solar panels and extra money from the savings on their energy bills to help further develop its facilities and coaching offer, thereby ensuring the benefits of the grant funding are multiplied many times over.