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Water power could be a renewable energy-source of the future for Peak District communities – and a free workshop is being held to show them how.

Water Power Enterprises, a social enterprise company part-funded by the Co-operative Group, will explain how communities can go about setting up their own small-scale hydro-power scheme.

The workshop is at Bradfield Village Hall on November 19 (Thur) from 11am to 4pm. It will be hosted jointly with the Peak District National Park Authority, East Peak Innovation Partnership and the Friends of the Peak District, who recently completed a two-year study identifying 40 local sites with good potential.

The workshop will provide an overview of these sites – often near old mills which used water-power in centuries past.

It will also present a step-by-step guide to get from the initial idea to choosing a site, obtaining permissions, raising the finance, legal structures for community ownership, a financial model, the construction phase and finally producing ‘green’ electricity.

Andy Tickle, head of planning for Friends of the Peak District, said: “Hydro power was always a key form of energy supply in the Peak District, associated with lead mining, weaving and other industries.

“Now we hope it can be a key source for the future, providing small-scale renewable energy schemes which do not compromise the special qualities of the Peak District National Park.”

The workshop is free to community groups and includes a working sandwich lunch. Places must be booked, giving group name and contact details (phone-number and email address) to Steve Welsh, managing director of Water Power Enterprises, at Lower Mount Farm, Shore, Todmorden, OL14 8SD, or 07964 106037.

More details:

Friends of the Peak District’s hydro study was funded by the Peak District Sustainable Development Fund and East Midlands Communities Renewables Initiative.