A new venture to create "green" electric power using river water is being launched by the Green Settle group.

The group is behind a new hydro scheme at the weir next to Settle Middle School.

The concept, using the River Ribble's flow to generate electricity, would be the first community hydro power scheme in Yorkshire and is set to be in place by September if planning permission and funding are obtained.

To get the community involved, an information day is being held in the town.

Steve Amphlett, chairman of Going Green in Settle, said: "Settle Hydro is a development through ourselves and the Settle regeneration team, StART. We are proposing to install a 50kW small-scale hydro electricity plant at Bridge End Weir.

"This is a chance for anyone interested in local, green initiatives to find out more about the project and how they can get involved.

"On the information day, we'd like people to pledge their support for a local renewable energy initiative and sign up for our email newsletter.

"It's really exciting to think we could have our own renewable electricity produced right here in Settle."

The scheme will cost around £250,000 and grant aid is being sought. Yorkshire Forward has expressed an interest, and there is the potential for a community share scheme to be developed.

The organisers will create a company to manage the project. It will be set up as an industrial provident society (IPS), run to benefit the community, and will be registered under the Industrial and Provident Societies Act 1965.

The electricity generated will be offered to the swimming pool and middle school. There is also scope for the flats next to the weir to be included.

"The school and swimming pool will be offered the opportunity to buy the green energy from the company and any profits made will go back into the community," said Mr Amphlett.

The information day will include a working model of a hydro power scheme and its Archimedean screw - a device powered by water that will drive the plant to create energy and is fish-friendly.

It is hoped work on the project will be finished by September before the salmon run past the weir to spawn.

Helen Walker, director of Water Power Enterprises (h2oPE) who approached Going Green in Settle with the idea for a community-owned hydro plant, said: "The information day will be very informal.

"As well as technical drawings, we'll have a working model of the Archimedean screw so local people can see just what's involved. I'll be happy to answer any questions and explain in detail how a small-scale hydro electricity plant works."

Water Power Enterprises is a Halifax-based social enterprise whose aim is to reduce carbon emissions by setting up small-scale hydropower projects that benefit both the environment and local communities.

The planned scheme will have a capacity of 50kW, which will produce approximately 134,000 kW units a year. This is enough electricity to meet the average needs of 35 two-bed houses.

Government figures suggest this green energy will save 79 tonnes of carbon emissions a year, which is equivalent to 3,160 tonnes in 40 years - or 8.9 million car miles.

The information day is on Saturday March 8 at the Quaker Meeting House from 10am to 4pm. Everyone with an interest in saving energy is invited.