WREN is given £100k to boost green growth
WADEBRIDGE Renewable Energy Network (WREN) has again benefited from government funding, with a new allocation of £100,000 handed to the organisation.
The money has come from the Coastal Community Fund and WREN is one of 20 projects nationwide to receive grants totalling £2.6 million.
The grants are aimed at creating jobs and supporting businesses in communities on or near the coast.
WREN has been awarded the money to help sustain and develop social enterprise opportunities through renewable energy installation, product development and support for green tourism.
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The project forms part of plans to make Wadebridge Britain's first solar-powered town and will create one direct full-time post and 19 indirect jobs.
Professor Stephen Frankel, chairman of WREN, said: "This is great news.
"WREN is a not-for-profit co-operative, owned by its 800 members, and is designed to become a self-sustaining business that will bring jobs, investment and income for good causes to the town: but it's difficult to start a business with no investment funds and on volunteer effort alone.
"This allocation from the Coastal Communities Fund gives Wadebridge a very strong platform for securing all the benefits of the low-carbon economy, making energy less of a cost and more of an asset and protecting the local economy in these uncertain times.
"It's also very encouraging that Wadebridge has been so successful in this very competitive process, as this shows that we must be heading in the right direction."
Announcing the grant allocations, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said: "It's a missed opportunity if we don't tap into the huge potential our coastal towns have to welcome new industries and diversify their economies so they can become year-round success stories.
"We've seen enormous enthusiasm for this government fund and had to make some difficult choices, but the projects we've chosen will create thousands of jobs and help many start-up businesses.
"This money will help these towns tap into new business opportunities that will create jobs and boost skills that will benefit the whole community."
Two other projects in Cornwall also received funding.
The Cable and Wireless Porthcurno and Collections Trust was allocated £149,587 to develop the Porthcurno Telegraph Museum to include a learning centre, new galleries, a visitor centre and a café. The project will also support more volunteering and community participation and create at least five full-time and ten part-time jobs.
The Porthleven Regeneration Community Interest Company was awarded £99,570 to establish a social enterprise to offer training and skills learning for young people and increase visitor numbers to Porthleven by improved marketing, lighting, parking and regeneration work.