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  • Writer's pictureJake B

Out of the ashes

Updated: Nov 19, 2020

£2,000 Community Grant Fund for fire damaged school memoir project


On the 21st August 2016, The Academy, Selsey burnt down in an horrendous fire. Despite the huge efforts of more than 75 firefighters, who tackled the fire as huge plumes of black smoke spread across the West Sussex town, over 50 years of school history was destroyed. But not all was lost as, together with Big Lottery Funding, £2000 of our Community Grand Fund enabled a project to rise from the ashes that celebrated the last 50 years of the Academy and created a long lasting memorial to a past time.

In all 7000 people were engaged in some way with the project orchestrated by Arts Dream Selsey, founded in 2012 to promote, maintain, improve and advance education and appreciation of the arts in all its forms.

Memories, narratives, fascinating stories and photographs of past and present staff, students and the wider community from the last 50 years of the Academy were collated to produce an online exhibition and a 3D collage reflecting different textures that escaped the fire, created by professional artist, Pamela Howard OBE.

‘Out of the Ashes’ takes pride of place the ‘New Academy’ building, leaving a lasting legacy for the Academy and for Selsey.

“We were delighted that we received funding along with the Big Lottery Fund, as this allowed the project to fully function, with all the components as intended. Out of the Ashes was an outstanding project that received critical acclaim from The Academy and the Selsey Community and Chichester District Council. It cemented Arts Dream Selsey as an outstanding provider of innovative Arts Activity and excellent project management.”

Chris Butler, Director

Arts Dream Selsey


The Ferry Farm community solar farm is located just north of the town of Selsey in West Sussex and straddles the parishes of Selsey and Sidlesham, which are the community it serves.

Created in 2016, our 5 megawatt community solar farm is made up of around 19,000 solar panels which, to date, have generated 5,400,000 kilowatt hours of electricity from the sun. That is enough to power the equivalent of 1,300 homes every year!

Surplus income generated by the solar farm, after operating and finance costs and reserves, is used to support Ferry Farm Community Solar’s community purpose and since 2016 we have provided over £85,000 of funding to support community projects.

We expect to generate at least £2million over the solar farm’s 30 year operating life to support local community initiatives.


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