A fair old success

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those that were involved in, and came to, the first Northern Devon Sustainable Energy Fair on Sunday 16th and Monday 17th of June this year.

Bideford Pannier Market was an absolutely wonderful venue for what turned out to be a truly inspiring event thanks to all the hard work of committed volunteers and local sustainable businesses.

While the weather was less than perfect, and exhibitors were down due to the harsh economic times, the fair was a bustling with activity.

The fact that four firms due to exhibit at the fair pulled out as they had run into financial difficulties because of the Government’s poor implementation of the Green Deal Scheme, did not detract from the overall experience.

However, the recent failure of Enact Energy from Cornwall and other businesses locally underline the importance of the event and similar events in keeping people in work, when all the government wants is to impoverish us all.

Some of the highlights of the event were definitely the talks held over both days. All speakers were excellent and informative, enabling all of us, even those working intensely in saving energy, to learn something new and critically important.

Although, I would like to thank all speakers, there are three in particular I should mention for their outstanding contribution to the event: Peter Crone who spoke particularly well, on how the Atlantic Array will drive real economic progress in North Devon and Torridge; Hector Christie who surprised us all with his additional co-speaker; and lastly but not least Sam Adams from the Soil Association, who did an extremely good job of showing how farming can reduce costs while reducing its harmful emissions.

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All the speakers gave generously of their time freely and I thank them all for their hard work.

Lastly, I would like to thank those who supported the Northern Devon Sustainable Energy Fair financially – in particular Bideford Town Council, Torridge district councillor David Brenton and local environment campaigner Philip Jones, who all gave generously.

Without the support of those willing to contribute time, effort and financially we could not do the work we do to improve our area.

James Craigie

Director, Northern Devon Sustainable Energy Community Interest Company

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