COMMUNITY groups are being encouraged to submit bids for thousands of pounds of funding from a solar energy farm.

Burnham and Weston Energy CIC’s said profits made from their 36,000-panel community solar array at Wick Farm, between Lympsham and Brean, will be made available for projects that will help local communities or community organisations become more sustainable.

The money will go into the Burnham and Weston Energy Sunshine Fund which has been set up by Burnham and Weston Energy CIC, will be managed by the Somerset Community Foundation and will offer grants of up to £2,500.

Although, larger grants may be awarded for projects that will have tangible community-wide benefits or are particularly innovative for the area.

Burnham and Weston CIC says funding will be available for projects and initiatives covering an area stretching up the Somerset coastline from Burnham-on-Sea to Weston-super-Mare, and inland to Mark and Winscombe.

A spokesman for Burnham and Weston Energy CIC, said: "Applications to the fund could be for environmental, social and/or economic sustainability and are welcomed from local, community-led organisations, small voluntary groups, clubs, charities, social enterprises, schools, and health centres.

"The plans should be devised, developed and led by members of the local community who will donate their own time, skills, and resources to the project."

The first window for applications for grants is from Monday, February 18 and Tuesday, April 30.

The Sunshine Fund will make awards totalling around £20,000 per year and SCF will also look to secure match funding where possible.

Projects that will be considered for funding will include:

• Projects that help reduce energy costs and carbon emission for local community buildings, such as fitting LED lighting, solar panels or ‘smart’ controls.

• Community-led activities that help reduce household energy costs and carbon emissions, such as draft proofing, insulation, and renewable energy.

• Community and low carbon transport projects, such as car clubs, electric vehicle chargers or a community mini-bus.

• Projects that reduce the amount of waste going to landfill, and help communities make their most of their resources.

• Community-led ideas that help develop the local economy, local social enterprise and skills, prepare people for work or create jobs.

• Ideas that will help community clubs better serve the community, particularly the disadvantaged.

• Projects that help develop local skills and knowledge, particularly in relation to energy, climate change and the environment.

For more information call Andy Ridgewell on 01749 344949 or visit

If you run a local community project and would like to find out more about grant funding in general, please call Somerset Community Foundation on: 01749 344949 or visit: