Hello and Welcome from the Network Coordinator


Hello and welcome to the Network’s new online home. In this news section you can read about what our members are up to, their current energy projects, and budding Network partnerships. We’ll also be publishing case studies and letting you know about upcoming events. To start us off, here’s a brief history of the Network so far.

Nine Months In

We initially asked organisations how the Network could add value to their work. It became clear that a kind of relationship broker service was needed- something that could match one organisation’s needs with the experience of another. With this in mind, the last 9 months have been spent formalising and growing Fit for the Future to the 85-organisation-strong Network it is today.

Members range from large landowners such as the Crown Estate, RSPB and various local authorities to small community energy groups and primary schools. That’s a great range of experience and knowledge. Through the Network, diverse organisations have been able to learn from each other and collaborate.

Fit for the Future in action

One of the Network’s functions is to facilitate linkups based on similarity of architecture and type of energy projects. A great example of this is the story of the Charterhouse – a characterful 600 year-old alms house in central London – and Trinity College Cambridge. Similarities between the institutions (the only two places I’ve been so far where I have had lunch in the Great Hall!), and their compatible energy requirements made this a successful match. The two are now sharing energy efficiency solutions.

Over 100 members attended an event in March at Plas Newydd, Wales to view the National Trust’s marine source heat pump in action. Thanks to the event, and a subsequent site visit with Scottish Canals, two very different organisations in Scotland are beginning to look at installing their own marine source heat pumps. A round-table meeting at the Falkirk Wheel took place in August to further plans and share ideas.

Forging Links and Enabling Collaboration

Of course, there have been more likely partnerships developing as a result of the Network’s match-making service. Councils from London and Suffolk, Swindon and Pembrokeshire have been sharing best practice when it comes to scaling up community energy projects. Primary schools in the South-East are also working together to heat classrooms more efficiently and integrate sustainability in the curriculum.

Viewing Renewables in Action

Our members also told us it would be useful to see renewables and energy efficiency measures in action. Last November, staff from National Trust for Scotland visited a hydro-scheme in Snowdonia to talk to the practitioners who installed it and see how renewables can work in harmony with a historic landscape. Similarly, staff from Bolton Abbey and Thoresby Estate were able to view a biomass system at Lyme Park. This helped them to better understand the practicalities of installing and managing this kind of system.

A Bright Future

With the Network not yet a year old, these partnerships and projects are only just beginning. As things progress we look forward to watching existing partnerships flourish and energy projects develop. New opportunities and partnerships will also be created as membership continues to grow. We have been overwhelmed by the success of the Fit for the Future Network so far – clearly, collaboration is key. Find out how to become a member, or contact us for more information.

Fit for the Future Network Coordinator, Chloe Hampson

This website has been set-up with kind support from Base Creative, a web design company based in London.