Ingram wins environmental scheme award

IT doesn’t boast a pub, post office or shop, but a tiny village nestling in Northumberland’s Breamish Valley has much to crow about as it’s about to become one of Britain’s greenest.

ingram, conrad clayton, joyce clayton, james shell, ross wilson

IT doesn’t boast a pub, post office or shop, but a tiny village nestling in Northumberland’s Breamish Valley has much to crow about as it’s about to become one of Britain’s greenest.

Ingram was awarded up to £140,000 for green energy projects having come out on top in a regional competition.

It is to receive the money from the British Gas Green Streets energy fund, having beat off competition from two other projects in the North East in a Dragons’ Den-style competition.

Villagers pitched their projects before a panel of judges which included The Journal editor Brian Aitken.

They beat a team from Elsdon, also in Northumberland, and North Esk, near Whitby, to become one of 14 projects nationwide out of almost 100 to have applied to share £2m through the fund.

A team from Ingram, led by its village hall committee, put forward plans which include installing solar photovoltaic panels on the hall.

The building has long been in need of repair but its committee did not have the money.

The team also identified 20 homes in the parish which could be suitable for energy-saving measures, either wall fixed wind turbines, solar panels, roof insulation or cavity wall insulation.

Kate Whitehead, a resident of Ingram and one of the team of presenters of the project, said: “We are delighted to have won this award.

“It is recognition of a focused community effort by the residents of Ingram.

“We were close knit community before; this brings us even closer together.

“The project is not just about a building, it’s about creating awareness across the community, about educating people about their carbon footprint and creating opportunities for the future.”

Dean Keeling, marketing director at British Gas who sat on the judging panel, said: “The level of support within this community is outstanding. I was very impressed with the huge participation from across the village.”

The selection panel was made up of experts from the Centre for Alternative Technology, British Gas and the Institute for Public Policy Research (ippr) as well as Mr Aitken.

Next year, the 14 projects from across the country will go head-to-head in a number of green challenges.

Their progress will be monitored for a year by the ippr and the project crowned Britain’s greenest community stands to win a further £100,000 in funding from British Gas.

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