Royal Wootton Bassett Rugby Club are tackling the climate crisis rather than opposing payers thanks to a grant worth £11,300.

The funds will help the club save 20 tonnes of CO2 in their bid to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2030.

Based at Ballards Ash on Brinkworth Road for the last decade, Bassett officials say they have always made an effort to be environmentally conscious.

The venue is kitted out with thermal-efficient glass, LED lighting, and showers that work on a timer – and has its own beehive producing honey.

But according to Chairman Chris Elias they have always aspired to do more.

“We had the roof specifically designed to be able to accommodate solar panels. So it was the logical next step to being more energy self-sufficient,” the chair explained.

The club applied to Severn Wye Energy Agency for their Target 2030 grant and to access advice from a business energy assessor.

Along with a £26,400 investment of the club’s own money and an additional grant from Wiltshire Council, the new Severn Wye grant has enabled the installation of a 46 kWp solar PV array on the clubhouse roof.

Since the solar panels were put up the club say their energy costs have decreased significantly, saving an estimated 20,77 tonnes of CO2 per year.

“Not only do we feel like we’re doing our bit to help tackle the climate crisis, but it makes everyone a bit more relaxed when we have to crank up the air conditioning in the summer,” Mr Elias added.

“I hope we would have done it anyway, but the Target 2030 grant funding made the decision a no-brainer.”

Over the lifetime of the solar array, the club expects to save more than £228,000.

But this is only the start, as Bassett have said they are dedicated to identifying further potential ways to reduce carbon and save money.

The club has signed up for a Rugby Football Union review to explore the possibility of installing batteries to utilize daytime energy generation for powering their floodlights on the pitch.

Plans are also underway to install several EV charging points in the club’s carpark.

"We've seen that making environmentally conscious choices isn't just beneficial for the planet but it also just makes financial sense," said Mr Elias.