follow bampton’s lead

Rory visited Bampton village hall this Tuesday and hailed it as a ‘model for the country.’ He met Chairman John Garside, Treasurer Lesley White and Secretary Sharon Metcalfe and learned how the village hall committee has connected the solar panels on their roof into national ‘feed-in tarrifs’ to cover not only the cost of their electricity but also generate a thousand pounds a year profit for the hall. They supplement this income with car parking on its premises and from its recycling point. Rory plans to work with the village hall to stage an event in Bampton where other communities can learn from Bampton’s success. He also plans to build a website, linking village halls together across Cumbria so they can share lessons. The Bampton Committee had been grappling with legal issues relating to the Feed-in-Tariffs for the solar power system, which have now been successfully resolved.

Rory hailed the village hall as an example to others in Penrith and the Border, and said: “Bampton Village Hall is a real community success story, and an excellent example of one that can be replicated easily. Their hard work in applying for the PV cells on the roof has paid off, and they now generate an income through FiTs – as well as reducing their electricity bills and being environmentally-aware. A little bit of community effort can go a long way. The hall is, as the Committee explained today, a lifeline to the village, and one that can be financially sustainable too. We need to see more village halls in Penrith and the Border following their enterprising example, and I’d encourage anyone with an interest in solar power to come and take a look at their roof cells and see how inobtrusive and effective they are. I look forward to seeing what ventures the village hall committee come up with next, and to supporting them in the future. There are so many other interesting Village Hall successes around Cumbria and I hope we can deepen the sharing of information between them.”


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