“Stroud has been the heartland of green activism for years.”
Dale Vince is a well-known figure around Stroud District, and nationally, for his ground-breaking work in green energy. Also, the owner of Forest Green Rovers, Britain’s greenest football club, Dale knows how to create positive change and chose Stroud as his base 20 years ago.
Dale settled in Stroud over ten years ago after living on the road for over 10 years. Choosing Stroud for the base in which to set up Britain’s Greenest Energy Company, Ecotricity, was no accident.
Dale says: “Stroud has been the heartland of green activism for years. So many people share our fears and love for the planet. It is also well-placed to start a business, with good train and bus links to the surrounding area and the capital.”
Ecotricity was the first energy company to offer its customers green electricity. It started with one turbine in Gloucestershire and has carried on building new wind and solar parks around Britain. The electricity it supplies is 100% green; made from the sun, the wind, and the sea. It generates about 20% and the rest is certified green energy it buys from other green generators or via the wholesale market.
Ecotricity is breaking from the typical energy company model by building new wind and sun parks across the country, and in doing so, increasing the amount of renewables in Britain, rather than just trading what already exists.
The business continues to grow with a current staff base of more than 600. The Eco Park that is planned for Stroud District will create further jobs.
Dale and his team recruit both locally and further afield and have flexed the way in which they operate to navigate recruitment challenges. His team are also making links with local educational institutions to support the district’s talent of the future.
Dale says: “Given its rural landscape, driving is a key method of transport here which is not aligned to our mission. As such, we are now hybrid and can have some roles working fully remotely. This has opened things up; but often to a talent pool outside of Stroud District. Many of our senior appointments are to people who live outside of the area. We want to start focussing on early careers and inspiring young people to join us post-education so we are trialling work experience programmes this summer and looking into expanding our apprenticeship options; this will hopefully help local young people find inspiring careers locally.”
Stroud District remains an attractive place for anyone looking to relocate.
“It’s a beautiful town set in wonderful countryside. There are brilliant schools locally, so it is a great place for family life. It’s very foodie so our colleagues are able to make use of a wide variety of local eateries at lunchtime; many of which are ethical and vegan specialists which fits with one of the focus areas of our business.”
Ecotricity continues to thrive from its Stroud headquarters, with exciting plans for the future.