Bradford BMX Club Sees The Light
Posted June 14 2010
The Bradford Bandits BMX Racing Club has come up with an innovative solution to powering floodlights at the track that could be the spark of inspiration for other grass roots sports clubs across the country.
The club, based in Peel Park in Bradford, will be the first community sports club in the country to tap into the Government's recently launched Feed-In Tariff, which enables people to make money from energy generated using renewable technologies. By installing renewable energy technologies, homeowners or community groups will be able to generate hard cash by creating their own energy to supply back to the national grid.
The Bradford Bandits BMX Racing track was extensively refurbished in 2008 with a Sport England grant which allowed for the installation of floodlights. The club can't currently afford to power the floodlights, which means that on winter afternoons and evenings no one is able to use the track. The club will be installing solar PV panels on the roof of a neighboring council building, after securing a place in the British Gas Green Streets initiative. The energy generated by the solar panels will be fed back into the national grid and allow the club to make money under the Feed-In Tariff scheme. These funds will enable the club to pay for the running costs of their floodlights, keeping the track open later for local kids without having to pass the cost on to members.
Ian Thewlis, Club Chairman, and Jeremy Brown, Club Secretary, secured over £100,000 of funding for Energy Efficiency and microgeneration measures from British Gas in January of this year to install the solar panels. Ian Thewlis says that ‘the aim of the club is to let everybody have a go' - the installed micro generation technologies will enable the club to cut its electricity costs and keep membership prices down.
The British Gas Green Streets programme is a community energy challenge involving 14 community groups across the UK. British Gas has committed £2m worth of microgeneration and energy efficiency measures and the communities that have been selected to take part will now compete in a year-long challenge to see who can do the most to cut energy use, lower carbon emissions, generate their own energy and increase engagement in these activities amongst members of their own community. The community that best achieves these objectives will receive a £100,000 prize to spend on a local environmental project of their choice.
If you want to find out more about how the Feed-in Tariff could benefit you or to see how the BMX Bandits are getting on visit the communities at www.GreenStreets.co.uk