Power to the people! MERCi is working in partnership with GMCVO and Carbon Coop to bring renewable power to rural community buildings.

This project will develop four community renewable ‘Trailblazers’ in rural Greater Manchester, which will be beacons to inspire others (local and global) to engage with energy generating enterprises. A support team will provide capacity building, project development, technical and enterprise support to ensure success, cascade learning and hopefully create a social enterprise to sustain the initiative beyond the period of project funding.

The four Trailblazer projects are:

  • Affetside Millennium Green Trust, Bury – installing photovoltaic solar panels on roof
  • Ellenroad Engine House, Rochdale – installing a biomass heating system
  • Millgate Arts Centre, Oldham - installing photovoltaic solar panels on roof
  • Moss Brook Growers, Wigan – installing photovoltaic solar panels on barn roof

Generating Success is a collaboration of three delivery partners (with on-going support from Envirolink and the Energy Saving Trust) each with complimentary expertise and successful track records:

GMCVO’s Community Hubs team specialises in project development and management - supporting communities to create and sustain spaces and places that matter to them; and builds on their Building Success toolkit

MERCi’s Sustaining Change programme provides the model for Trailblazers and bespoke support based on best practice.

The Carbon Co-op will work with local micro-enterprise suppliers and installers to help develop a viable renewables supplier chain for the project. Their report, Generating Interest, for GMVSS (the Greater Manchester ChangeUp Consortium) outlined ways for the Sector to encourage and develop renewable energy take up, which was the catalyst for the bid.

We will host events and workshops to share the learning and eventually use the experience to support projects in urban areas of Greater Manchester including supply chain workshops and Fuelling Manchester energy socials.
This project was launched in the Spring of 2012 with funding from Defra for an 18-months period. It is our plan to develop the project into a social enterprise based on the experience learned over these 18 months.

Ellenroad Engine House