WILTSHIRE Music Centre in Bradford on Avon has scooped £12,000 funding from the M&S Energy Community Energy Fund, beating seven projects in the region to win the top prize.

Wiltshire Music Centre won the funding with 1,964 public votes following a six-week campaign by the organisation.

The centre had called on its local community to show support in July after being shortlisted for funding in the national renewable community energy competition.

Created as a space where local musicians can rehearse, where young people can learn to play music and where artists from around the world can perform, Wiltshire Music Centre is a creative hub for the community.

The centre plans to use the £12,000 funding to install LED lighting in its main auditorium, in an upgrade that will reduce its carbon footprint by 90 per cent and save the charity over £5,000 every year.

These savings can be spent on delivering its work instead, said Maud Saint-Sardos, Chief Executive of the Wilshire Music Centre.

She added: “We are absolutely thrilled to have won the M&S Energy Community Energy Fund which will enable us to install LED lighting in our auditorium and reduce our carbon footprint.

“This is brilliant news for Wiltshire Music Centre as we are about to celebrate our 20th anniversary. We are grateful to everyone who voted and supported us.

“The savings we will be able to make as a result of the installation will help us to run our music-making activities, workshops and live music projects that inspire, enrich and transform people’s lives.”

2017 marks the third year of the M&S Energy Community Energy Fund, which donates up to £300,000 to support community renewable energy projects and technologies across the UK.

This year saw more than 180 community projects apply for funding with over 100,000 people voting for their favourite community energy project.

Jonathan Hazeldine, Head of M&S Energy, said: “Our community energy fund has grown from strength to strength over the last three years; this year for the first time ever we surpassed 100,000 public votes.

“For us that means there’s 100,000 people here in the UK committed to protecting our environment and creating sustainable energy solutions – what M&S Energy is all about.

“We were bowled over by the innovation and creativity displayed by this year’s community projects. The fund is a great way for us to connect with some brilliantly innovative energy projects and reach our commitment to help at least 200 communities to reduce their carbon footprint as part of Plan A 2025.”

As part of Plan A 2025, M&S Energy has committed to helping at least 200 communities to reduce their carbon footprint.

M&S Energy awards a maximum of £12,000 worth of funding for regional renewable energy projects across the UK, determined by the public vote. A Judges’ Prize will also be awarded to the most innovative or inspiring projects selected from those that do not win through the public vote.

For more information on the project please visit https://www.mandsenergyfund.com/