Sandford Hydro: community power

Sandford Hydro has been a long labour of love from the local community. Securing a loan from Charity Bank was a vital step in the success of the project.

Social Problem

By placing control, benefits and participation at the centre of project delivery, community energy can support the infrastructural and cultural change we need to address the threat of climate change and energy insecurity[1].


Sandford Hydro is the brainchild and labour of love of local community members, who saw an opportunity to do something good for the environment and to show what can be achieved when a community comes together in this way.


A significant amount of funding was generated through a Community Share Offer. However, the magnitude of this undertaking also required more sizeable backing and was provided with a £1.86 million Charity Bank loan.


The tangible benefits are wide reaching and include the clean energy that will be created, the financial return for those who took up the Community Share Offer, and even a fish pass that will allow fish to migrate further upstream.

“Securing this loan from Charity Bank was a vital step in the progress of this project. In fact, without Charity Bank there would be no Sandford Hydro.”

Adriano Figueiredo, Operations Director at Low Carbon Hub
Community On Barge Smaller

Members of the Sandford community passing by the Archimedes screws as they travel down the river to the hydro site.