About us

Energise Barnsley has been setup with Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council to deliver community owned renewable energy and heating projects across the borough


Energise Barnsley has been developed through the partnership of several organisations and individuals who are collectively working together to help deliver lasting social impact across the Barnsley area.

Project Partners

Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council

Barnsley Council owns the assets where the solar PV is installed, and is the signatory to the solar licence and lease, between Energise Barnsley and the Council. The Council has worked hard with the Energise Barnsley team to develop protections within the solar licence and lease, to give robust protection for the cash flow over the project life.

Generation Community Ventures

GCV is the development arm of Gen Community, capitalised in 2015 by two leading charitable foundations, with the purpose to promote, develop and deliver community owned renewable energy, energy efficiency and heat projects nationally.  Energise Barnsley uses Gen Community’s ‘‘Community Energy Model Rules 2015’ registered with the FCA. 


Ignite is the UK’s first impact investment fund with a focus on energy. Ignite invests people and money into emerging and mature organisations that have a clear vision of how they benefit society. Ignite made its largest investment to date by making a £2 million underwriting facility available to Energise Barnsley. Without this facility the domestic solar PV installations in late 2015 could not have gone ahead before the reduction in feed it tariff subsidy.

British Gas Solar

BG is the solar PV contractor to the project, and responsible for the solar PV design, installation and ongoing operations and maintenance. Furthermore, BG provides performance guarantees and warranties for the solar PV assets.

Board Members

Rob Clark

Rob has worked in energy and sustainability roles across a number of public sector organisations, managing energy efficiency and reporting functions across large and varied portfolios and seeking out cost and carbon savings and social value opportunities.  Rob has a passion for community energy and project managed the implementation of Energise Barnsley for Barnsley Council, ensuring that all compliance and operational activity was managed through to completion, aligning the project deliverables to stakeholder requirements.  Rob currently leads public sector projects in a large energy consultancy and works with organisations across the broad spread of the public sector, including local authorities, NHS trusts, educational establishments and emergency services.

John Christopher Townend

I am 75 years of age and reside in Carlton where I am secretary of the Carlton Village Community Group. I have been a volunteer for over 10 years previously a board member of Berneslai Homes locally and nationally board member of TAROE (Tenants and Residents Organisation of England) so I’m versed in the requirements of governance and the responsibilities that go with it. My home may not fall under the pre-requisites that Energise Barnsley required for solar power, so I have no conflicts of interest other than to serve the community of Barnsley.


Ade Babayemi

Ade is an experienced Finance, Economics, Public Policy and Infrastructure adviser with 10-years’ experience in public and private sectors respectively, specialising in economics, public-policy, financial analysis/feasibility studies, and funding and financing advice for major capital & infrastructure delivery”  https://www.linkedin.com/in/adewunmi-b-37866a11a/


David Malsom

David is a chartered banker and a member of the Institute Environmental Management and Assessment. Since leaving financial services he has worked in the community and voluntary sector in both housing and environmental roles focusing on energy efficiency for both domestic and non-domestic users.

Jeremy Sykes

Jeremy originates from Barnsley and worked for the council for over 36 years.  A Chartered Water & Environmental Manager and Chartered Environmentalist he is passionate about reducing energy usage and installing low carbon technologies in buildings.  Jeremy has track record in the successful delivery of sustainable and renewable energy projects across the borough, which contributed to the council winning the prestigious Ashden Award in 2006.

Andy Heald

Director, Gen Community Ventures (www.gen-community.co.uk)

Andy holds an MSc Energy, Environmental Technology & Economics (Merit) from City University, London, a Securities Diploma and a BA Hons Political Theory & Economics (1993) from Liverpool University. He is the founder of Gen Community Ventures, and has been working in community energy since 2010. Andy leads the innovation projects for Energise Barnsley and is a member of the Energy Network Association Distributed Energy Steering Group, as the representative for Community Energy England.

For enquiries contact: [email protected]

Lee Winterbottom

Managing Director – Construction Services Berneslai Homes, Board member Efficiency North

Lee spent twenty years with the Together Housing Group with extensive PFI, competitive procurement and property management experience. Since 2018 he has been the managing director of construction services at Berneslai Homes and brings excellent practitioner input for our innovation projects with Berneslai Homes tenants.


Bethan Wynton

Society Secretary – Energise Barnsley

Beth has worked in finance and project management in various roles for over 10 years. She has specialised in sustainability, social enterprise, and the public sector, as well as supporting small businesses to reduce their carbon footprint through low carbon and renewable technology. A highly skilled project manager, Beth brings proven experience managing multiple stakeholders, whilst being passionate about social and environmental impact.

Paul Castle

Service Director for Environment and Transport and Growth and Sustainability as BMBC appointed Custodian Trustee

Paul is a service Director for Barnsley Council’s Environment & Transport Services, a member of the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management and lead for Climate and Sustainability, Strategic Transport, and public facing operational services like waste & recycling, highways, parks, home to school transport, sport & bereavement services across the borough. He has over 30 years of experience working across both public and private sectors. His motivation centres on continuously improving services for citizens. He holds and held several non-executive directorship roles on behalf of local authorities and leads many public, private and community partnerships across the borough.

Ashley Gray

Strategic Finance Business Partner – Growth & Sustainability & Children’s Services Directorates as the Custodian Trustee appointed Director