Community centre is first in Bicester to take advantage of funding for insulation

Joe Mcdermott, Dan Bourne, Adam Murdoch, and Dean Towle of Green Puzzle preparing to make a start.
Joe Mcdermott, Dan Bourne, Adam Murdoch, and Dean Towle of Green Puzzle preparing to make a start.

Community centres are being urged to follow suit after a project to fit subised insulation to a centre in Bicester was completed this month.

In April Cherewell District Council announced that Southwold Community Centre had been successful in applying for funding available through the Eco Bicester scheme.

The Southwold Community Association had already shaved £1,900 from their bills with simple measures like programming the thermstat, but wanted to go further.

The work cost £1,800 and the association come up with a quarter of the money.

Claire Hewitt, association chairman, said: “We’re very pleased with the work. I was expecting a little bit of mess, as with any works, especially as they were covering vast amounts of space but they left no mess at all.

“The next step is to try and get solar panels so that we can be self-sufficient.”

Councillor Michael Gibbard, CDC’s lead member for planning, said: “Community associations operate on limited budgets and we might be able to help them save a small fortune.

“I really would urge anyone involved with a community hall in Bicester to get in touch and see if we are able to offer heavily subsidised cavity wall or loft insulation.”

Any halls seeking help with insulation will have meet some of the cost. Other criteria include; they must be situated within the Bicester ring road, they must be accessible to all, the work should have a total cost no higher than £1,800, and it must not be connected with a religious or educational building.

Sam Hollis, managing director of Green Puzzle which carried out the installation, said they were delighted to be invloved and added: “By choosing local contractors, CDC has demonstrated its commitment to a sustainable economy as well as a sustainable planet.”

For further details contact Eco Bicester’s community liaison officer, Azul Strong by email at or on 01295 221644.

Bicester residents can also take advantage of the heavily subsidised insulation scheme, where homeowners and private tenants can get cavity wall, loft and loft top up insulation for free until September 2012.

For more details or to book a free, no-obligation survey visit or call 0800 8048777 between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.