State of the art ‘green’ education centre set to open

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SCHOOLS from across the East of England and beyond will have easy access to state of the art green education facilities from Monday (15 October) when a ‘Green Schools Revolution’ Education Centre will be unveiled at The Co-operative Group’s wind farm in Coldham.

A brand new £18.5 million 14 mega watt wind farm, called White Mill, will also be officially opened at the event. The seven new turbines have been installed adjacent to The Co-operative’s existing eight turbines, all on its own farmland.

White Mill wind farm, which has been built as part of a joint venture between The Co-operative Group, including The Co-operative Bank, and Ventus VCT plc, will be a major draw for schools from far and wide.

The innovative ‘Green Schools Revolution’ Education Centre will enable schools to study a host of sustainability topics in one location: from renewable energy, where pupils will be able to visit a wind turbine; to healthy living, where pupils will be able to get out on to the farmland to learn all about how food is grown and how to prepare a healthy meal.

The new education centre has been created in partnership with Fenland District Council and will provide a key education facility for The Co-operative’s national Green Schools Revolution programme, which has already been joined by over 5,000 primary and secondary schools right across the UK.

Schools that are part of the Green Schools Revolution have access to a wide range of free cross-curricular classroom resources and activities through www.greenschools.coop, giving young people and teachers the tools to inspire change in their schools, homes and local communities.

The seven new turbines at White Mill will offset 26,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year and, combined with the existing wind farm, will generate in excess of 70 GW hrs electricity per year – enough to supply approximately 16,500 homes.

All the energy generated from White Mill will be directly procured by the Group, securing a long term green energy source for the business.

Thanks to developments such as this, The Co-operative is well on the way to achieving a key element of its Ethical Plan to generate 25 per cent of its electricity needs from its own renewable energy projects by 2017.

Rob Ellis, Sustainable Development Manager at The Co-operative Group, said: “We are very pleased to be able to celebrate the completion of our seven brand new wind turbines at White Mill and to be able to do this alongside the opening of a fantastic new education facility for schools.

“This is a fantastic example of how The Co-operative Group’s businesses can work together with a focussed social agenda that will benefit local communities and inspire the next generation to be the green pioneers of the future.”

Sarah Klueter, Senior Community Investment Manager for The Co-operative Group, said: “Green Schools Revolution was launched one year ago and already over 5,000 schools are taking part. This demonstrates a clear appetite for environmental learning and it’s great to see so many schools really making the most of all the programme has to offer.

“Our brand new ‘Green Schools Revolution’ Education Centre in Coldham will provide Cambridgeshire schools with fantastic free trips and education facilities. Schools interested in joining can register now at www.greenschools.coop to take advantage of all that’s on offer.”