Timeline of Events
A local resident, concerned by the impact of climate change on our future world raised the subject of potential village action with the Parish Council. A climate change sub-committee of Outwood Parish Council was formed of villagers willing to progress matters. An initial village meeting was held in November 2019 to gauge villagers' interest in addressing climate change matters in Outwood.
More than 80 people attended. There were presentations to give villagers a feel for the types of initiatives that could be considered, with examples given of other rural projects.
Attendees were asked to fill in questionnaires indicating their level of interest and to suggest their ideas. This initial initiative indicated a significant level of interest in potential village projects to reduce carbon emissions, recycling, reducing waste and enhancing biodiversity.
Over 80 people attended the initial interest meeting
Project opportunities were explored and researched. A presentation to the committee and members of the Parish Council was made by a company that supports environmental projects to provide more detail around the types of project that might be feasible. Grants to support feasibility studies and costs towards potential projects to reduce carbon emissions were highlighted alongside details of a significant project that is taking place in the village of Swaffham Prior.
The vision and mission of Sustainable Outwood was created and shared with villagers. A tender process was undertaken to enable an application to the Rural Community Energy Fund (RCEF) for a grant to cover the costs of a Feasibility Study for the village.
The first application to the RCEF was commended. It was suggested the committee should refine and resubmit the application in the autumn, increasing the size of the grant application to include further specialist engineering expertise.
Having gained additional knowledge and insight, a new tender process was completed and a new application for grant funding for a feasibility study was submitted to RCEF.
A terracycle project commenced, with bins for empty crisp packets (that can't be recycled through County recycling) placed in the rear car park of the Bell Inn. Commencing a composting scheme is explored.
A grant for £36,000 was awarded from RCEF for the feasibility study. The study is managed by a consortium of three companies that specialise in renewable energy projects; Avieco is the lead company supported by Niras and RPS.
Spring 2021 - ongoing
The feasibility study commences, lasting 3-4 months (March - June 2021). The study is exploring the viability of community renewable energy sources for Outwood, particularly researching viable ways to move away from the village's reliance on oil/LPG for heating and hot water.
The Sustainable Outwood website is created along with a dedicated email at Outwood@avieco.com Villagers are kept informed of developments through the Outwood News, email communication and posters. Village engagement includes a focus group and and online and paper survey distributed to all residents and businesses.
Once the final study is produced, Outwood Parish Council and Sustainable
Outwood will consult with residents and decide if/what action to take next.