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Snettisham Beach Sailing Club becomes green thanks to CIL funding given by West Norfolk Council

A sailing club that has more than 500 members has officially opened its newly “green” clubhouse thanks to a grant given by West Norfolk Council.

The eco clubhouse was opened just in time for Snettisham Beach Sailing Club’s annual prizegiving event that marks the start of the sailing season.

The club is “off the grid” as far as energy sources are concerned and has until now relied on a diesel generator for electricity and gas boilers for hot water to showers, washrooms and kitchen.

A view of the green clubhouse in Snettisham
A view of the green clubhouse in Snettisham

Now, grant awards from West Norfolk Council’s Community Infrastructure Levy and the East Coast Community Fund have enabled Snettisham Beach Sailing Club to move to renewable sources for its energy needs.

The first phase of the project began last summer with the addition of insulation and a new covering to the roof.

Following a structural survey, an array of 21 solar panels was then installed on the roof, supplying a 30kW battery system.

The team at Snettisham Beach Sailing Club
The team at Snettisham Beach Sailing Club

The club was then rewired and low energy lighting installed throughout. The total cost of this work was £50,000, with West Norfolk Council contributing £30,000.

Commodore Adrian Tebbutt said: “Our generator used to run for 1,100 hours per year on average, consuming roughly 3,500 litres of diesel fuel, releasing the resulting exhaust gases to the environment - not what we would wish for a green sport and club.

“We have had half a season with the new system in place and are still learning to operate it at maximum efficiency.

“From what we have learned we anticipate that over a full year, we will not have to use the generator (kept as a backup) at all, saving considerable cost and significantly reducing emissions from the club.”

Snettisham Beach Sailing Club
Snettisham Beach Sailing Club

The second phase of the project began in January 2024 to provide a solar hot water system.

The total cost of the solar thermal installation was £17,650 and we have to thank the East Coast Community Fund for a grant of £13,645 towards this cost.

Adrian added: “Our two boilers that heated water for the club were obsolete and the shower temperatures resulting were unstable due to fluctuations in flow rate.

“This made the showers less than ideal for members with mobility issues.”

Cllr Jim Moriarty, cabinet member for development and regeneration, said: “This is an excellent use of CIL funding, which also meets the Council's Corporate plan to reduce emissions.

“This is one of 4 projects allocated a total of £113,000 CIL Funding in Snettisham.

“CIL can be used to fund projects such as new facilities, or improvements and upgrading of existing infrastructure to increase of usage which would support new development of an area.

“If you have an idea for a scheme that will benefit your community, it’s worth thinking about whether it could be funded by CIL. We reopen for applications from July 1 2024.”

The sailing club aims as keeping the sport affordable for all and hasn’t increased its membership fees since 2019.

The club also owns 30 sailing boats that are available to hire for members.

An open day is coming up at the sailing club on Sunday, May 19. More information about the sailing club can be found on their website.

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