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Dare to Dream – Kirk Merrington Primary School

Through the Dare to Dream project County Durham primary school, Kirk Merrington Primary School, is refurbishing two decommissioned railway carriages into a magical learning library and reading space. The project is supported by a M&S Energy Community Fund Competition 2020 Crowdfunder organised by Climate Action North to raise the money needed to install solar panels and LED lighting in the two railway carriages.

The Dare to Dream project will also repurpose seats and tables, include new flooring and bespoke library furniture so pupils can indulge in the love of reading and creative writing in a fun and relaxed environment.

The project is spearheaded by the school’s secretary, Lesley Smith, who said: “We are very excited about this project, which has been a dream of mine for the past two years. Due to the increase in pupil numbers the school’s purpose-built library is now used as a classroom, and the library was moved into school corridors. The Dare to Dream train will provide an imaginative learning environment for the children as well as reinforce appreciation for our local heritage which is steeped in history in respect to the railroads. We hope you can help us fundraise for this very exciting project and thank everyone for their support.”

As well as helping to secure the funds for the installation of solar panels and LED energy efficient lighting, Climate Action North will also support the creation of a hedgehog and bee-friendly garden around the grounds, donate books for the library, and help pupils learn about renewable energy and nature.

The Crowdfunder and M&S Energy Competition, which backs community projects committed to being environmentally conscious and installing renewable technology or energy efficiency measures in their endeavour to do so, will split £40,000 match-funding between 15 winners. Climate Action North’s Managing Director, Sharon Lashley, said: “We’re excited about the next stages of this project which include preparing for work on site and hope to have the project well underway mid-2021.”