What do Buddie's Play Den have to say about the Low Carbon Challenge Fund?

Rachael Marples, a Director of Buddie's Play Den – a fantastic play area and daycare on Bridge Street, spoke to us about their experience with the Town Deal’s Low Carbon Challenge Fund.

Please introduce yourself.

I’m Rachael Marples, and I’m one of Buddie’s Play Den’s directors.

You applied for a grant from the Low Carbon Challenge Fund. What investments did you put the money towards?

Solar panels. We got the full £10,000 grant, with ourselves matching part of the funding. We got quite a lot of solar panels for our money’s worth so we’re really happy with it.

How do you expect the solar panels to financially benefit your business?

During the summer, we’ll generate about 35% of the electricity through the panels, which is massive for us. When the energy bills shot up in price, we went from £1000 bills to £5000 bills and it’s just not sustainable to keep paying that much so the solar panels, even for chipping away at small amounts of that total usage, have been absolutely invaluable.

Even through the winter, the solar panels contributed to about 16% of our electricity cost. We’ve got a revenue that is sustainable in the future and it has definitely proved to be a worthwhile investment.

Any energy we convert whilst we aren’t open can simply be sold back to the grid to further offset our operational cost.

How straightforward was the process of applying for grant funding?

So easy. Really easy. I talked to a council officer about the application, they sent through the forms, we filled them in and within about 6 weeks, the fund had been paid out. It’s just phenomenal!

Would you recommend the Low Carbon Challenge Fund to other businesses?

Yes. 100%, we would.

Learn more about the Low Carbon Challenge Fund and how to express your interest.