Funding boost for local church

The District Council's Village Hall grant scheme has helped to create a sustainable energy system at Shirley Parish Church near Ashbourne.

Two air source heat pumps have been installed at the 14th century church to help make it a financially sustainable and comfortable warm space with a low-carbon footprint.

Treasurer John Fletcher at Shirley Parish ChurchRenovation work started five years ago, and £250,000 funding has come from various sources, including grants from The Big Lottery Fund and from the District Council, plus donations from the general public.

The church now has under-floor heating, high output radiators under the pews and solar PV panels on parts of the roof. An insulated ceiling will complete the renovations.

John Fletcher, treasurer to the Church Council which runs the building, said:

"Before we were only able to heat the church on a Sunday for the six months of winter. Now we heat the building from 6am – 10pm every day of the year, and it makes for a much more comfortable space. We have even noticed a rise in numbers of people attending our congregations!"

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