A southwest Wiltshire village has unveiled its new community hub – which has been kitted out to support local residents during severe weather and other emergencies thanks, in part, to funding from Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN).

The Fovant Emergency Contact Hub received £10,000 from Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks’ (SSEN) Resilient Communities Fund, and has now completed the purchase and installation of a generator that will help power the hub for the village’s 700 residents.

Housed in Fovant’s Youth Club, the emergency hub can be up and running at short notice, to provide a central and safe environment for residents, with the SSEN-funded generator supporting heating, lighting, cooking and charging in the event of a power cut.

Martin Wallis, Flood and Emergency Planning Coordinator for Fovant Parish Council said:

“We’re committed to making positive changes for our community and making sure our residents know they have a hub that can cater to their needs in times of an emergency, and on behalf of the residents of Fovant Village, I’d like to thank SSEN for its substantial help in getting this project off the ground. 

“Through the funding we have been awarded by SSEN and money raised through other organisations, we have been able to develop and now open the Fovant Emergency Contact Hub, knowing that we have the right equipment in place to deal with any situation, while looking after the vulnerable members of our community.” 

SSEN’s Head of Region for the area, George Taylor said:

“I’m delighted that the Fovant Emergency Contact Hub is now fully operational and that SSEN has been able to assist residents in boosting the resilience of their community through the funding awarded to them. 

“Their hard work shows in the many different aspects they took into consideration while planning this emergency hub and understanding how best it would function for the whole village.”

George continued:

“I very much hope the hub brings peace of mind to those living in the village, but I also hope that they rarely have the need to use it.”

Set up in 2015, the Resilient Communities Fund has provided around £5 million to over 700 not-for-profit community groups and charities. The 2023 Resilient Communities Fund was the final one, with SSEN Distribution developing and launching a new fund this year. While continuing to support community resilience, this new fund will seek to include environmental resilience and the adoption of low carbon technologies. Details and timescales will be announced in due course.

To find out more about the Resilient Communities Fund and read SSEN’s annual fund reports, please visit https://www.ssen.co.uk/RCF/.