Windfall for Windmills?

The Hebden Bridge Alternative Technology Centre is celebrating a £33,000 cash windfall after succeeding in its bid for a slice of vacant funding from the regional development agency, Yorkshire Forward. The ATC's exciting community-driven plan to develop an Energy Conservation & Training Centre, as part of a canal-side family "Ecopark", in the heart of Hebden Bridge, was given the green light - and £33,000 of the total £78,000 available - following a presentation to a selection panel from Yorkshire Forward and the Rural Challenge Rochdale Canal Corridor Partnership.

The scheme will see the establishment of an Energy Conservation & Training Centre based at Hebble End Mill in Hebden Bridge to inspire and inform visitors and local people about methods of conserving energy and living sustainably. Training courses will be held in the centre for schools, businesses and individuals. The Centre will combine with plans to turn a 350 metre stretch of the Rochdale Canal between Hebble End and Blackpit Lock into a family "park" using sustainable methods and materials.

Spokesperson for the ATC, Polly Webber, said: "We're absolutely over the moon about this award! This is brilliant news for all those local people who suggested many of the ingredients of this scheme and it's fantastic for all those volunteers and others who have worked so hard over the last 10 months to get the Alternative Technology Centre off the ground. Not only does this award help us to develop the Energy Conservation & Training Centre and the EcoPark, but it should also help us to secure further funding in the future for other projects. We're just delighted."

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Hebden Bridge Alternative Technology Centre (01422 84 21 21,

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(c) Networking Newsletter (June/July 2000)