Derwent 7 / SusKes Press release


Sustainable Keswick (SusKes) has entered into an agreement with WRAP for a Stage 1 grant from the Rural Community Energy Fund (RCEF) to look at the feasibility of establishing micro anaerobic digester systems in Keswick and the surrounding area included in the Derwent 7 Cluster Group.

Our goal is for the communities of Derwent 7 to own a network of Micro Anaerobic Digesters (with overall capacity up to 40kW) to process commercial food waste sourced in a low technology method from local catering and food retailing outlets. The ADs will be co-located with local community facilities in the Derwent 7 area thereby contributing to the sustainability of valued rural services.

Evidence exists that Micro AD provides distinct rewards from reducing waste miles, providing reliable base load on-site energy and the ability to operate under exemptions, to educational engagement, employment and training opportunities. Micro AD is a proven technology used extensively in places like India. There are suppliers in the UK who support this technology at micro scale. Digesting one tonne of food waste saves between 0.5 and 1 tonne of CO2 equivalent. Micro AD fits well with the circular economy – a key concept for a sustainable future.

The Rural Community Energy Fund is a 15 million programme, delivered by WRAP and jointly funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (DBEIS). It supports rural communities in England to develop renewable energy projects which provide economic and social benefits to the community.

For more information on RCEF, visit

SusKes has engaged Rural Cumbria Connects, a consortium of companies and voluntary organisations who are working together to provide services for the promotion of community energy in Cumbria, to provide a “Feasibility Study” that:

  • has ownership from the local community and key stakeholders;
  • meets the requirements as detailed in the guidance for the Rural Community Energy Fund (RCEF);
  • and enables SusKes to decide on how to proceed to implementation including the potential for an application to Stage 2 of RCEF.

A communication campaign is being prepared to inform the residents and businesses in the Derwent 7 area about what Micro Anaerobic Digesters are, what they provide, and the benefits they can bring to the community. Responses will be invited to ensure any concerns can be addressed. Surveys of potential sites will take place alongside discussions with the relevant planning authorities. As the feasibility study progresses public meetings will be held including the opportunity to see a mobile Micro Anaerobic Digester. For further information please contact Chris Knowles, SusKes Secretary, on 017687 72101

Notes for editors:


First established in 2000, WRAP is a not for profit organisation whose vision is a world where resources are used sustainably. WRAP works with governments, businesses and communities to deliver practical solutions to improve resource efficiency.

RCEF Facebook link

RCEF web pages

Keswick Reminder January 2017