Ripley Star Club, past winners of the International Green Apple Awards, have further endorsed their green credentials with the installation of Photo Voltaic Panels at the historic Hotel de Ville, Ripley. A 2.07 kWp system comprising of nine panels has been installed on a south facing roof at the property producing an estimated 1678 kWh per year.
The electricity generated will be used by the many community activities taking place at the hall with any surplus exported to the National Grid. The club will also benefit from the Government Feed-in-Tariff which will give an income of 41.3p per kWh over a 25 year period. This payment is paid by our electricity supplier and is tax free and index-linked.
The project has been supported by funds from the Commuted Sums A/C administered by Harrogate Borough Council and a grant of £5,000 from the Community Sustainable Energy Programme.
Extensive works to restore and upgrade Ripley's historic Hotel de Ville or Town Hall are almost completed, thanks to a £99,500 grant offer from the Heritage Lottery Fund: other funding has been received from the Ripley Star Club, the Ripley Castle Estate, Entrust, Harrogate Borough Council, and Awards For All.
The interior of the grade II listed building, constructed in fine Gothic style in 1854, has been reorganised to create enhanced facilities for meetings, sports and community groups, and a lift enables access to the meeting room, bar, and billiards and snooker facilities available on the first floor. A stair climber allows disabled access to the building and can also be used by the adjoining Post Office. A new green room enables more use to be made of the existing stage in the main hall, and air conditioning creates a much more comfortable environment for the regular and hugely popular Ripley Blues gigs. Brand new toilet facilities (including disabled) are also in place.
Ripley C of E Primary School, which uses the main hall as a dining area, has benefited from a new purpose built kitchen, and a secure new bar area created at ground floor level services events in the main hall. An audio and visual heritage display enables all visitors to learn about the history of the building and there are plans for guided tours in the near future.
The ugly metal fire escape staircase and gantries that intruded into the main hall have been removed, and new, more effective fire escape routes created. The flat roof above the bar, which had reached the end of its natural life, has been replaced, and the fine stained glass windows that are a prominent feature of the west and east elevations have been made safe and fully restored.
Andy Herrington, secretary of the Ripley Star Club, said 'we
are extremely grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund and to the Ripley Castle
Estate for their support. The Hotel de Ville used to be a centre for not just
Ripley, but the whole community of the district. Sadly the facilities have looked
increasingly tired in recent years. This work is not simply cosmetic: it has
enabled far more groups from all walks of life to make full use of one of the
best community facilities for miles around. The work that has been carried out
to the structure of the building has safeguarded this very prominent feature
in Ripley's historic landscape and provided a significant heritage gain.'