The provision of significant local community benefits is central to Chelwood Community Energy’s vision. The Society will contribute surplus income into the independently administered and dedicated Chelwood Community Benefit Fund. Over the 25-year life of the project the Society forecasts to make contributions of £1.2 million to the Community Benefit Fund – equating to an average of £48,000 per year over the life of the project. Annual contributions to the Community Benefit Fund may vary and will be at the discretion of the Society’s board of Directors as they will be dependent on available cashflow following bank loan repayments and members’ interest payment commitments.
For the initial trading period, the Chelwood Community Benefit Fund will be operated as part of the Bath & West Low Carbon Community Fund, which is BWCE’s established community fund. This is administered by the Quartet Community Foundation, an independent charity providing services to charitable donors in the South West. Under this arrangement, the Chelwood Community Benefit Fund will be ring-fenced and have its own steering group, consisting of representatives of the local community together with some trustees of the Bath & West Low Carbon Community Fund This steering group will make decisions on which local projects to support. The Chelwood Community Benefit Fund intends to fund impactful local infrastructure projects, wildlife conservation measures and contribute to energy efficiency schemes.