A primary school hopes to cut its carbon emissions by 90% if a £200,000 fundraising target is met.
Tollesbury Primary School plans to use the money to upgrade its Victorian building’s energy and heating system.
Local group The Tollesbury Climate Partnership launched a community stock offer to raise funds and reached around three-quarters of the total.
Mark Howland, director of the partnership, said: “It will make a significant difference to the school.”
The project has until 1 May to raise the funds which will then enable it to access a £414,000 decarbonisation grant from the government.
The partnership has said individuals and businesses have invested between £100 and £20,000 and believes it is the first initiative of its kind.
Investors should get their money back and a profit in ten years, the partnership hopes.
It aims to equip the school with double glazing, solar panels, a ground source heat pump, insulation and energy saving light bulbs.
As well as reducing carbon emissions, it could save the school £14,000 a year.
“Much more sustainable”
Mr Howland said it was the “showcase project” for the partnership.
“Tollesbury is a really strong community and we obviously want to make this village sustainable for the future.
“We are aware of the climate crisis happening around us and we all feel we must do what we can to support the future of all village residents.”
He said the work would mean the school building, which dates from 1896, would be “much more sustainable and usable for the future.”
The project was “extremely optimistic” the money will be raised by the deadline, he added.
‘Resume comes to life’
Kate Garnett, principal of the school, said: “Energy costs have almost doubled this year, so finding that money in an already very tight budget is very difficult.”
He said the project will help the school’s finances, the environment and pupils’ education.
“Kids can see what they’re learning in the curriculum come to life and it’s happening before their eyes,” she said.
Ms Garnett also said the children will “carry the messages home [of] what is happening at the school”.
“Hopefully then it will spread and even parents will think ‘if this could happen in a 100-year-old school, we can do it at home,’ so hopefully it will have an impact throughout the community,” she said.
“Help the Planet”
Haydn, a sixth grader at the school, said: ‘It’s a really nice idea and we’re doing it to save the planet.’
The 10-year-old said: ‘It’s great to help the planet and be a more energy efficient school.
“It’s nice to have a warm school and to have these new things happening in our school.”
Find BBC News: East of England on Facebook, Instagram AND Chirping. If you have a story for us, email [email protected]