Hundon feels the benefit from community fund set up by Cubico, the owners of Broxted Solar Farm
The owners of a 150 acre solar farm on the former RAF Stradishall airfield have visited Hundon to see where the £56,000 they have so far given to the community is being spent.
Cubico opened Broxted Solar Farm in 2014 on land owned by Navigator Land LLP, run by Charles Ryder, which is leasing it the acreage for at least another 19 years.
Under the trading name Broxted Solar Limited, Cubico then set up - while being under no contractual obligation to do so - the Broxted Solar Community Fund for Hundon.
The fund provided £10,000 per year (including a direct annual payment of £1,500 to Hundon Primary School) for organisations or groups in Hundon, which rose to £10,500 in 2018 and will raise by a further £500 every five years.
Last Thursday, Stephen Packwood, Head of Northern Europe at Cubico, along with colleague Valerio Scupola and James Wood from Bidwells, visited some of the beneficiaries of the fund, including the school, cricket club and village hall and shop.
Afterwards, beneficiaries of the fund, the Community Fund Group that manages it locally and other guests had lunch at the Hundon Plough.
Mr Packwood, said: “As a leading investor in and long-term owner of renewable energy projects, we are committed to the social development of our local communities.
“It was brilliant to meet some of Hundon’s residents and see the Broxted community fund making such a positive impact, especially at the local school and village hall.”
Mr Ryder pointed out that solar farm - Cubico’s second largest in the UK - has been designed with conservation at the forefront, and a Broxted Brains Trust has been formed that includes a local ornithologist and botanist, to monitor its impact on wildlife.
Mr Ryder added: “The gap between the panels are wider to maximise the light and allow sheep to pass underneath to graze.
“The accent on conservation and sustainability is part of the whole integration plan for Broxted.”
This year the fund has benefited Hundon’s primary school, pre-school, church, war memorial, hedgehog rescue group and community cinema.