Historic Northumberland village pub The Star in at Harbottle gets green makeover thanks to grant

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A Northumberland country pub has received a £5,000 grant to help make it more energy-efficient.

The Star Inn at Harbottle, built over 200 years ago using sandstone from the ruins of the nearby castle, now has new solar panels and log burners.

Owners Karen and Phil Wilkinson took on the Coquetdale pub in 2019 and the refurbishment project they had in mind meant transforming the way the pub looked as well as how it used energy.

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Business Northumberland told them about the Business Energy Saving Team (BEST), an energy efficiency programme delivered by local authorities in the region helping businesses to identify ways to cut back on how much energy they use, and save money.

The Star Inn at Harbottle.The Star Inn at Harbottle.
The Star Inn at Harbottle.

A free energy audit was carried out by Narec DE, delivery partners for the BEST project, and their Renewable Energy Technical Specialist, Alex Savidis.

The pub was using an old wood burner for heat and this just wasn’t enough to keep the locals and tourists warm.

The landlords took up two of the four recommendations, receiving over £5,000 grant funding towards the new solar panels and log burners.

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Karen said: “We switched out the only one open fire at the pub, to three log burners, which are much more efficient and better for the environment as well as having two solar panels installed.

“The wood burners have not only saved energy but made the pub warmer and cosier… we have had solar panels on a previous house, so we really do know the benefit of them!”

The Star inn will benefit from an estimated £1,000 savings per year as a result of the investment, as well as reduce their carbon impact on the environment by over 10 tonnes.

BEST has been made possible with £670,000 from England’s European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme for 2014-2020.

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Karen said: “Businesses should definitely contact the BEST team, it is free advice on your property with no obligation”

To find out more about the Business Energy Saving Team and how they could help your business, please go to: www.best-ne.co.uk/

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