Green Fox wins Community Share Issue of the Year 2014 Award from UK Community Energy
The Leicestershire based Green Fox Community Energy Co-operative has scooped the prestigious Community Share Issue of the Year 2014 Award from UK Community Energy.
With over 5000 community energy groups in the UK, Green Fox secured the award, beating two other strong shortlisted contenders. The award was presented at an event in Oxford on the evening of Thursday 4th September. Green Fox were praised for the exemplary share offer document; for the quality of the content and the high standard of presentation, and for managing to raise £572,000 in 24 weeks, 50% of it from locally based investors. This is the first time the awards have been made in this rapidly growing sector. Nomination are open to any UK-based not-for-profit organisation, group or individual working or volunteering in the community energy sector that have arranged a community share issue to fund projects.
Green Fox was formed in March 2012 by a group of local volunteers intent on increasing the take-up of renewable energy in Leicester and Leicestershire, using a community ownership model.
The funds raised through the public share offer are being used by the John Cleveland College Community Woodheat Co-operative (JCCCWC) which is currently installing a large – 800 kilowatt -renewable energy woodchip boiler in the Hinckley based John Cleveland College.
The project will be delivering renewable heat from the installation from October onwards, saving the college around £50,000 each year in heating oil bills and reducing carbon dioxide emissions by around 250 tonnes a year.
Voluntary director, Alan Gledhill, says, “We have come a long way since our first meeting, establishing, firstly, Green Fox, then the John Cleveland Woodheat project. Raising over half a million pounds as a community organisation is no mean feat and we feel that this award is a clear recognition of those endeavours and are very pleased to have received it”.
Alan, adds, “We are within budget, on timetable and are looking forward to the switch-on in October”
Shaun Whiting, head of finance for John Cleveland College, says that, “Though run by volunteers, from the outset Green Fox Community Energy has gone about this project professionally. It has given us confidence all along the way and we are proud to be pioneers in what is probably the UK’s first co-operatively-owned educational energy project”.