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Green light for major environmental projects at Linskill

Being more environmentally aware and reducing its carbon footprint were identified as priorities by the Linskill and North Tyneside Community Development Trust, to future-proof its centres and ensure the continued provision of community programmes and activities in North Tyneside.

During the year new policies have been implemented and an environmental sub-group formed to support and steer the Trust towards its environmental objectives. With a large building and dated heating systems the Trust quickly realised significant capital investment was required to make  improvements on energy performance to ensure the building remained a safe and warm place for visitors and community groups to meet.

Last year the Trust secured a £13k grant from the Reach Fund to review the carbon footprint of the Linskill Centre and its satellite sites at Royal Quays and Battle Hill. Maximising efficiencies and minimising energy use were key objectives, whilst making a significant and positive contribution towards the government target of net zero greenhouse gas emission economy by 2050.

Following the review, the Trust’s plan was to apply for a 100% loan to undertake capital investment projects including heating and lighting systems, with utility costs savings being used to contribute to loan repayments. North Star Ventures, a supporter of previous Trust capital investment projects, was approached and agreed a loan to complete the identified environmental work. With a green light the project was ready to go and then the emergence and impact of Covid-19 resulted in the Trust reconsidering its position. Recognising the impact of the pandemic on the Trust’s revenue streams and the apparent need for the environmental work, it was a huge relief when North Star Ventures agreed to a grant of £34k and a reduced loan of £104k to deliver an array of projects: installation of 400 LED lights, installation of 1500m² roof insulation, improved heating controls throughout the centre and the installation of a suspended ceiling in the Burnett Hall.

With funding secured the Trust appointed local contractors and the first phase of work on the heating systems has already been completed, with energy efficiency and insulation work scheduled for November. When the project is completed it is forecast the Linskill Centre’s carbon footprint will be reduced by 57 tons CO₂ per annum and annual energy costs reduced by £13,000, a significant improvement on the carbon footprint of this thriving community hub.

Add in the benefits of an improved customer experience and increased room hire capacity, the case for supporting the environment and going green is reinforced. Simeon Ripley, Chief Executive at Linskill Trust commented “The Trust was committed to improving its carbon footprint and despite the pandemic, with the support of North Star Ventures, we are now seeing plans put into action to benefit our community in the long term. These projects demonstrate the Trust’s commitment to the environment and will ensure an enhanced customer experience for all centre users with more effective heating and lighting as we approach the winter months.”

Energy performance is just the start of environmental initiatives by the Trust across its sites, which is actively sourcing funding to deliver plans for tree planting, recycling and electric car points.

For further information please call Sandra Moffat on 0191 257 8000 or email sandra@linskill.org