The Group recently took ownership of the former primary school and has ambitious plans to develop this into a community pub or bistro and a resource centre that will provide meeting and workshop space for arts and other cultural activities, community learning, and to support local artists and crafts people. UEDG envisage that the centre will generate new jobs and business opportunities locally. The Group has a strong interest in sustainable development and will use natural resources and renewable technologies to re-furbish and run the building, sourced locally wherever possible.
Upper Eskdale Development Group took ownership of the School when it closed in 2005 and are planning a whole range of new uses to meet the needs of local people and to be sustainable economically. High levels of energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy are key to the project's success. They have temporality installed 42 PV panel with a peak generation capacity of just under 10KWH in a ground mounted array. These will eventually be located on the roof of the refurbished building as seen in the visualisation. There are already two 9 KW air source heat pumps and a 12 KW pellet stove making the existing building cosy and useable in the coldest of winters days. They hope to complete the building phase of the Hub by 2012 and it is already in use for whole range of events from therapy to theatre.
The Upper Eskdale Development Group are planning to set up a community energy business based on woodfuel harvested in local forests helping to reduce carbon emissions and revitalise their remote rural community by creating new jobs and opportunities.
Their plan came about when considering how they would heat their new community hub located in the old village primary school. When they decided on wood fuel lots of people in the community said that they also wanted to heat their homes with wood but it was getting difficult to find a decent supply.
The group is keen to help move forward to a low carbon community and be to more self-sufficient in all aspects of community life.