Back our solar dream to help secure our future, say trustees of Norwich community centre

The team behind the bid. From left to right: Pete Kelley, Rachel Catto, Alicia Rodriguez, Stuart Ben

The team behind the bid. From left to right: Pete Kelley, Rachel Catto, Alicia Rodriguez, Stuart Bentley, Sandra Martins, Julie Brociek-Coulton, Liz Layton and Matthew White. Pic: Silver Road Community Centre. - Credit: Silver Road Community Centre

A community centre is seeking the public's help to go solar.

Trustees at the Silver Road Community Centre in Norwich say installing solar panels would help produce clean power, but would also secure the centre's financial future.

And they hope the centre could become one of the first public buildings in the country to make use of a new system which would allow the energy to be used even when the sun has gone down.

The centre has been shortlisted in this year's M&S Community Energy Fund, through which £300,000 is available to support renewable energy projects around the country.

The community centre, in Silver Road, has applied for a £12,000 grant to install a solar power system on its roof.


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Trustee Matt White, who is leading the appeal, said: 'This will enable the centre to produce its own clean power, while also providing an income to the charity for the next 20 years, from the government's Feed-in-Tariff.

'The system is expected to save over 3,200 kg of CO2 emissions every year - making the centre much more environmentally sustainable, not to mention financially secure.'

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The community centre opened three years ago, after a six-year battle to save the building for community use when Norfolk County Council closed it as an old people's day centre.

Mr White added: 'This project is the next step in our ambition to make Silver Road the city's most successful community centre.

'We will also be crowdfunding alongside asking for votes - if we reach our crowdfunding target and get the M&S grant then we will be buying an energy storage system for the centre.

'This will allow us to use the power generated on-site even after the sun has gone down, thereby maximising the benefit from the panels.

'We expect to be one of the first public buildings in the country to utilise this exciting new technology.'

The centre offers space to hire for a wide variety of events, with various clubs meeting there.

Mr White said: 'The winning projects will be decided by public vote, so our message is - please vote for Silver Road Community Centre - and ask your friends and family to do likewise!'

Votes can be cast, until October 20, at www.mandsenergyfund.com/projects/silver-road-community-centre

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