A MASSIVE solar farm on Stratford’s doorstep could contribute thousands of pounds to the community over the next 25 years.
Planning permission was granted for the 25 acre solar farm at Drayton Farm off Alcester Road, which was previously used by DEFRA for research, midway through last year.
And Stratford Community Energy is now co-ordinating a project to ensure a portion of the money generated by the solar farm is paid into a special community fund.
Around £175,000 is expected to be given to charities over the lifetime of the scheme with Stratford Hospital’s £1million appeal set to benefit to the tune of £125,000.
Hospital chiefs are looking to create a new cancer and state-of-the-art eye treatment centre at the existing hospital site on Arden Street.
It is hoped the £1million appeal will help fund everything from specialist chemotherapy chairs to iPads that do not come as standard in the new £22million hospital.
Jayne Blacklay, director of development at SWFT, said: “We are extremely grateful for the solar project’s ongoing donation.
“Stratford Hospital is going to make a massive difference to our community and the surrounding areas and it is thanks to generosity like this we are going to be able to make it the best it can possibly be.”
Welford School, which is based five miles from the solar site, will also receive a cash windfall of around £2,000 each year.
Headteacher Julie Leeman said: “The money will provide valuable resources to enhance teaching and learning throughout the school.
“Current projects include buying a new interactive whiteboard for use in the early years and the development of good quality reading texts.”
Wildlife charity RSPB will be working in partnership with the site’s developers to introduce natural habitats for some of the most under-threat breeds.
The solar farm is expected to generate more than 4,500 MW of energy per year – enough to power around 1,400 homes and will also reduce carbon emissions.
Adrian Pike, chairman of Stratford Community Energy, said: “Our objective is simple – to help share the benefits of renewable energy by giving communities and individuals an opportunity to invest in solar bonds.
“By backing Stratford Community Energy, investors will not only be supporting a reduction in the impact of climate change, but also be helping to generate significant benefits for the community and economy.”
Investors can also buy into the £5million project by purchasing bonds with the minimum investment set at £500 for one bond.
Visit www.stratfordcommunityenergy.co.uk for further information.