Dear <<First Name>>,
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Wirksworth Transition Community Land Trust

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Charity number 1178158
Newsletter 11 - September-October, 2022

Link to our website.

In this issue
An exciting offer and new projects

Help with the cost of living
A surprising innovation

What's our exciting offer? A free retrofit assessment of your house!

As part of our launch of "Future Fit Homes in Wirksworth & Middleton" we have raised the money to pay for a house in Wirksworth or Middleton to be assessed by a qualifield retrofit assessor. A survey is made to establish what measures are needed to  reduce heat loss.

The string attached is that we want to use the assessment as an example to show people what is involved. The assessor will do the survey probably in September and will come to the Maltings on 1st October or 5 November to explain how retrofit (installing energy efficiency measures to an existing house) works and to use the local house as an example of what he or she does.

Any Wirksworth or Middleton owner occupier can apply. Having an assessment and report indicates work that might be done, but does not commit you to doing it.

An ideal house for our purposes is one that was built after WW I up to a decade or two after WW II. We are keen to have applications from people who have so far made very few energy efficiency changes. Especially someone who owns and lives in such a house, but has not had the funds to improve it.

Click here for the short application form.

                    house through branches

Future Fit Homes for Wirksworth & Middleton

is a project started by WTCLT to help people save money on their energy bills by installing energy efficiency measures in their house.

Only the most unobservant will be unaware of the current energy price crisis misty courtyardengulfing homes and businesses in the UK. While there is a price cap on unit prices and standing charges this has not prevented prices soaring and forecasts that are extremely worrying and for most people unaffordable.

Our inital aim was to build new zero carbon housing but this does nothing to help occupiers of existing homes where a large proportion of UK energy is used and lost to poor building fabric condition. Future Fit Homes is our project to show people how to retrofit their homes and reduce energy tiled roofconsumption and bills where possible.

To this end we will be present in town on the following dates which coincide with the Farmers’ Market.  

Saturday 3rd September – Our information stall at the Farmers’ Market, 9.30 to 12ish. Find out about our Open Eco Homes event  coming up in October and our exciting offer of a free retrofit assessment! 

Saturday 1st October –  Our information stall plus suppliers and expert advice in The Maltings, 9.30 to 11.30.

Book your place on a guided tour of a local home where energy saving work has been carried out (Tours on Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd October.)

Saturday 5th November – Our information stall, plus suppliers and expert advice in The Maltings, 9.30 to 11.30

We also hope to have the Fantastic Home mobile exhibition with Marches Energy Agency in town to give residents advice on improving the energy efficiency of their homes. This will be sponsored by Derbyshire Dales District Council.

 We look forward to seeing you soon.

We urge Derbyshire Dales District Council to use the opportunity of their Local Plan Review to introduce the highest possible environmental standards for new homes.

This is the title of the report we have sent to the District Council. Here is the summary and a downloadable full report:

As a charitable community land trust, we are committed to improving the energy efficiency of housing, new and existing. We do this because we know that the best possible energy efficiency in housing is an important priority for tackling both the climate crisis and the current cost of living crisis, which are related.
One way energy efficiency in housing can be improved is by the District Council revising the policies of their Derbyshire Dales Local Plan, which is currently being reviewed. (The deadline was recently extended to December 2023). The review includes entries about action on climate change and specifically mentions in policy PD7 “Securing energy efficiency through building design”.
We ask the District Council to strengthen housing standards by adopting a standard for zero carbon housing. We believe it should be the Passivhaus standard because it ensures the lowest energy demand – which requires theconstructionn worker least need to purchase heating and is the most effective way to reduce fuel poverty very substantially. Obtaining Passivhaus standard adds to the building costs, but we offer the evidence that the costs as a percentage are coming down and are ‘paid for’ over the life of the houses. Achieving
this standard from the start is also cheaper than more retrofitting in future.
We suggest the Council could use the Association of Environmentally Conscious Building (AECB) Building Standard as a temporary measure because it is somewhat less onerous and cheaper than Passivhaus but it uses Passivhaus methodology. This would give the construction sector more time to upgrade their skills. We suggest the Council start with social housing which would ensure giving priority and the most benefit to the neediest.
We provide information on other local authorities already embarking on this pathway, with references on the various ways they are doing so.



Derbyshire Dales are giving free grants to low income households in the Dales - currently focusing on Dales properties that don't have a mains gas connection.

Simply contact the District Council's partner Marches Energy Agency to check your eligibility on 0800 677 1332 (select option 2) or email

roll of wool insulationTo be awarded a grant for work that may include loft and/or wall insulation and low carbon heating such as air source heat pumps, you must be a low income household and live in a low EPC rated property. If you don’t have an EPC we can fund one for you.

All work will be fully grant funded for owner occupiers. For rented properties landlords must contribute a proportion of the costs. Work will be carried out by Council approved contractor Broad Oak properties and grants will be awarded on a first come, first served basis.

The District Council's Climate Change Officer Jo Hill said:

"We have limited funding but will run a waiting list for next rounds, which will be subject to future funding.

"We are specifically looking to help residents who own or rent their homes - no social housing is included in this scheme - without a mains gas connection, which means they currently use oil, LPG, coal, solid fuel or electric for their main heating."


Derbyshire Dales District Council won £907,500 grant funding at the end of last year to help raise the energy efficiency rating of local homes.

The government funding is part of a consortium bid to the Sustainable Warmth competition through the Midlands Energy Hub, investing more than £430 million across 57 projects.


REMINDER: our WTCLT AGM will take place at Wellspring church at 7.30pm on Tuesday 18 October, 2022.


Production of portland cement, one of the key ingredients in concrete, is extremely carbon-intensive. As a result, at least 8% of man-made carbon dioxide emissions come from the cement industry.

But now, a new cement-free concrete, known as ‘EarthCrete’, has been put through its paces by researchers at Oxford University. The University and CarbonMeta Research concrete made of earthannounced that a series of tests confirmed that, in stark contrast to conventional concrete, EarthCrete is actually carbon negative. In fact, a single project using 500 cubic metres of EarthCrete mixed with water could remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere equivalent to 66 diesel vehicles each being driven 12,000 kilometres per year.

Our Board
Noel Mayes (Secretary)
Mary Ann Hooper (Chair)
Alison Clamp (Treasurer)
Ivan Dixon
Mike Whittall
Richard Rowlatt
Roger Shelley
Pam Taylor

Vacancies: 2
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