Zero Carbon Cumbria - Carbon reduction action across the county.

ZCC Lottery Funded Projects

The National Lottery is funding a five-year programme of exciting projects across Cumbria, in support of the work of the Zero Carbon Cumbria Partnership. The funding is also helping to build and strengthen the partnership. The programme began on 1 January 2021.

Here's your at-a-glance guide to the work funded by the National Lottery.

Within communities

The National Lottery funding focuses on some of the main sources of carbon emissions in communities, with a particular focus on food, energy generation and the goods we buy. These projects were chosen because of their wide benefits to local communities, and were put forward by community organisations that are part of the Zero Carbon Cumbria Partnership.

Citizens' Juries

Making sure the public have a say in what happens in the county to tackle climate change is at the heart of this programme. Citizens’ juries bring together a cross section of the public to understand the issues and opportunities for significant action on climate change in their local area, and to make recommendations for action. This empowering and powerful model of engagement will influence policy and infrastructure decisions with local authorities and other statutory and non-statutory agencies. It’s being delivered by Shared Future, one of the UK’s leading experts in organising citizens’ assemblies and juries.

Youth Climate Action

A programme of youth climate leadership is under way, to support, empower and skill up young people in Cumbria to have their voices heard and to influence those in power to listen and act. Developed in consultation with young people, there’ll be a range of engaging ways for them to influence and deliver climate action in the county. This may involve initiatives such as a youth voice training programme in speaking and advocacy skills and how decisions are made, a youth climate council, youth climate summits, a youth climate reporters scheme to encourage citizen journalism, and a programme of school events including carbon literacy training.

Repair Cafes

The number of repair cafes in Cumbria is being expanded, so that more people can get broken items fixed free of charge, by volunteers from within their communities. Research is being carried out into different ways of setting up repair cafés, including ways of recording the carbon savings. New groups are being supported to set up a repair café in their area. A directory of repairers will be set up, to help people get goods repaired, beyond repair cafés. This project is led by Simply Repair South Lakes.

Home Grown Here

This project is reducing food miles and food waste by increasing fruit and vegetable production in Cumbria.  Local farmers, whose backgrounds are in rearing sheep and cattle, are now trying their hand at veg growing to feed the local population and Cumbria’s visitors.  Their crops are being sold through their own new veg box scheme – Home Grown Here – and also via farmers’ markets and through local retailers.  The project is helping to diversify farm income, while also getting farmers/growers working together. It’s part of a DEFRA trial for the new Environmental Land Management Scheme (ELMS), which will replace UK agriculture’s Basic Payment Scheme, called Growing the Goods.  Home Grown Here is being delivered by Eden-based veg growers cooperative VistaVeg Ltd.

Low carbon food

A low-carbon food network will be set up, with communities and businesses working together to create low-carbon menus and share good practice, with the potential to develop a Low Carbon Food Charter for Cumbria. An online Low Carbon Food toolkit will be created to help the food sector to share experiences, learn more about the carbon footprint of food and how it can be reduced. The project will also help the public and communities to understand more about low-carbon food and inspire local action. It will link with the Grow Local Eat Local project run by Vista Veg and the youth climate action programme mentioned above.

Training in climate science & solutions

Organisations and individuals across Cumbria are learning about climate science and how we can cut carbon emissions in our lives and workplaces, through accredited ‘carbon literacy’ training. This professionally run training will be available to a range of organisations including schools, as well as within communities. Thanks to additional support from the Emergence Foundation, a network of community trainers has also been set up and supported to cascade knowledge about science and solutions.

Community energy support

Two communities will benefit from support to develop community energy projects that test out new community-owned models of generating, storing and sharing energy. The learning from this will be shared nationally.

Community action

Communities in Barrow, Penrith and Carlisle will benefit from a range of events and activities to raise awareness about climate change and to inspire local action. They’ll be run by Art Gene in Barrow on behalf of Real Barrow, in Carlisle by Sustainable Carlisle, and in Eden by Penrith Action for Community Transition.

Events & training

There will be a major programme of events and training across the county to address the skills and knowledge gaps of partners and others, in order to overcome knowledge barriers to action. Some of this training will be for members of the Zero Carbon Cumbria Partnership who are leading on carbon reduction at a strategic level, while others will be open to the public. You’ll find those listed on the events section.

Supporting people to take part

There is a central pot of funding to help overcome barriers that might prevent people from taking part in the activities happening as part of the lottery funded programme. It could be anything from support with costs of travel or childcare through to translation. Training will also be provided for those involved in running the lottery funded projects on how to build a broad movement and engage with all groups.

Cumbria Sustainability Network

This informal network for Cumbria’s local sustainability groups gives them a way to share information and good practice. It was set up by the groups themselves several years ago, but thanks to the lottery funding there is now a paid coordinator to support the network’s volunteers.

The network helps the groups to work together and support each other, as they tackle climate change in their communities. It welcomes new and emerging groups, and has access to funding through the Community Climate Grants scheme to help develop new initiatives (also funded by the National Lottery).

By working together, the groups hope to establish a joined-up community voice on climate issues, to influence policies and decision-makers to take urgent action.

Strategic support

The lottery funding is also helping to put in place some of the strategic pieces of the jigsaw, to help with decarbonising Cumbria and sharing learning beyond the county.

Managing the partnership

An important part of the programme is the development of strong working relationships and networks among the many organisations in the Zero Carbon Cumbria Partnership so that communities have more influence, and impact. Working in a collaborative way with its diverse membership, the partnership will develop plans for the emission-reduction activity needed across the county in order to achieve net zero by 2037.

Expert advice

The programme is likely to uncover challenges and barriers to reducing carbon emissions, which could be within businesses, organisations like local authorities or communities. To help design solutions to these, the programme includes a budget for expert consultancy.

Carbon monitoring

A new framework will be developed for evaluating the carbon impact of the activities that happen during the programme. This will fit in with the monitoring of carbon reductions across the county. It will be delivered by Lake District National Park Authority, Small World Consulting and Climate Outreach UK. There will also be a wider evaluation of social impact, community influence and how much the programme empowers people.

Sharing learning nationally

The programme will ensure that partners can be part of a movement of change nationally, through funding for them to share learning at national events on topics like climate change action and community empowerment.

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