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Bradenstoke Solar Park Community Benefit Fund is a local grant fund that will be available to the following Parishes abutting the former RAF base at Lyneham and community groups inside MoD Lyneham:


- Bradenstoke & Lyneham

- Hilmarton

- Christian Malford

- Bremhill

Any community group within these Parishes is eligible to apply for a grant. The fund is renewed every year via an index linked payment of £50,000 that is secured via the lease between the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) and the private owners of the park for the lifetime of the solar park.


The fund commenced operations on 1st April 2017.

The fund’s grant criteria are as follows:

  • Alleviating fuel poverty

  • Developing community scale & micro renewable energy schemes

  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions

  • Advancing efficiency in the use of natural resources

  • Protecting or enhancing the natural environment

  • Protecting or enhancing biodiversity

  • Promoting environmental sustainability

  • Other purpose in the interest of the community


In order to oversee the distribution of this significant fund fairly and independently, a Local Grant Committee has been established consisting of the following people representing their organisations:

  • Allison Bucknell, Wiltshire Unitary Councillor (CHAIR)

  • Stephen Depla, Christian Malford Parish Council

  • Chairman, Bradenstoke & Lyneham Parish Council 

  • Tim Bowhay, MoD Lyneham

  • Matthew Ash, Hilmarton

  • Richard Tucker, Bremhill Parish Council

  • Mel Wilkins, Hilmarton Parish Council


Mary Hardwidge of Community First, the Rural Community Council for Wiltshire, a charitable organisation, has been appointed as the administrator by the Local Grant Committee.

The Local Grant Committee will be governed as an Unincorporated Association with an AGM and the funds are held in a dedicated ethical bank account provided by Triodos Bank in Bristol. The LGC will meet at various times throughout the year and grant applications are welcome on flexible basis, there are no tranches/cut off dates at present.

Over the lifespan of the solar park the community benefit fund will constitute a very significant ongoing financial investment to local causes.



Mary Hardwidge, Administrator, 01380 732802,

Cllr Allison Bucknell, LGC Chair, 07976 891377,

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