Lights on at Sherston Magna CC with UES PV System
Sherston Magna Cricket Club, nestled in the idyllic Pinkney Park, exudes a unique charm that sets it apart from other village cricket clubs.
The picturesque surroundings paint a backdrop for a club deeply rooted in its community. However, despite its beauty, the club faced a significant challenge as it operated off the grid, without electric power. This limitation impacted the daily experiences of club members and guests, hindering even the simplest tasks like boiling a kettle, switching the lights on and charging a device.
This case study highlights Sherston Magna Cricket Club‘s transition from operating without mains power to a sustainable solution involving the installation of solar panels by Unitary Engineering Services (UES). It explores how strategic investment from the Gloucestershire Cricket Foundation through the ECB County Grant Fund, combined by many hours of work by club volunteers, who secured additional partnership funding, made the project possible. It also looks at the anticipated impact, which includes an enhanced overall experience for club members and guests, with the transformative effects expected to unfold during the 2024 season.
The absence of mains power presented practical challenges, with scenarios like scorers arriving with laptops for live match scoring, only to discover the lack of power sources. The club’s gas tea urn incident served as a near miss, prompting a re-evaluation of the situation and the realisation that change was necessary.
Club Treasurer, Caroline Dickenson explained the situation the club faced…
“It has been a dream of Sherston Magna Cricket Club to have our own electric power for many years.
Having had a quote from the electric board to join the national grid at over £22,000 several years ago, which was financially unachievable, added to this would be the ongoing costs of using electricity, we had to park any ideas of achieving our dream.
So when the County Grant Fund was launched, as a club, we saw an opportunity to explore the possibility of having Solar power at the ground.”
Collaborative Funding Approach
The club were awarded a grant of £10,000 by the Gloucestershire Cricket Foundation who receive an annual allocation of the funding from the ECB through their County Grant Fund scheme. The club also brought a number of partners together to fund the remaining £6,993 including:
- Sustainable Sherston – £500
- Sherston Parish Council – £1,000
- Malmesbury Area Board – £2,500
- Club Fundraising – £2,993
This collective funding effort totalled £16,993, making the ambitious off-grid solar panel project feasible.
Off-Grid Solar PV Installation
With UES, the club were able to overcome additional hurdles…
“After many financially out of reach quotes, companies who couldn’t/wouldn’t quote and then the idea we would buy our own kit and install it, we were pointed in the direction of UES by Steve and Scott at the GCF.”
With the secured funding, the club engaged Unitary Engineering Services (UES) to implement the solar panel project. The installation encompassed 10 solar panels, 6 li-ion batteries, and internal and external lighting and sockets.
“UES were able to provide us with a system which worked for us and was within our financial boundaries, thanks to the grant from the GCF and our partnership funding.”
UES Managing Director, Adam Griffiths shared his enthusiasm for the project…
“We’re so pleased to have once again completed a project that will have such a positive impact on the surrounding community. This project was particularly exciting, being completely off-grid, and we hope that Sherston Magna CC enjoys their new system for many years.”
Excitement for the future
While club members and guests are yet to experience the difference the panels will make, the anticipation for the transformative impact is already noticeable. The club’s inaugural committee meeting, illuminated by lights, marks the start of this exciting journey.
As the 2024 season approaches, Sherston Magna Cricket Club eagerly anticipates the positive changes that the solar panels will bring, promising an even brighter and more sustainable future.
Scott Tremain, GCF Club Development Manager said…
“It has been immensely satisfying to contribute to Sherston Magna CC’s solar project, knowing the transformative impact it will have on the club’s ability to access electricity. 2024 marks an exciting season for the club as it promises to enhance the overall experience for club members and guests.
Furthermore, Unitary Engineering Services’ bespoke off-grid system demonstrates to the wider club network without access to mains power what is possible. SMCC have shown that partnership funding can pave the way for projects to become reality, which is truly commendable. I hope that SMCC’s story will inspire other clubs to see what can be achieved.”
Caroline shared how excited the club were for the new season…
“We cannot wait for the start of the season so we can show off our electric power to our members and guests and enhance the welcome we can deliver.
I would finally like to thank Steve Silk and Scott Tremain from the Gloucestershire Cricket Foundation for their continued support and patience throughout this project.”