Seven community-led projects, aimed at raising awareness of the climate crisis in Cumbria and helping people to reduce their carbon emissions, have been awarded a grand total of £47,725 from Cumbria Action for Sustainability’s Community Climate Grants scheme, which is funded by the National Lottery’s Climate Action Fund, Allerdale Borough Council and South Lakeland District Council.
The projects seeking support for a diverse range of action including a cycling festival, shuttle bus, anaerobic digester and other ideas, were presented to an audience of community groups on March 23rd. Participants then voted for their preferred projects.
Among the winning projects was The Rebuild Site CIC, which received a £10,000 award for its innovative tool library and workshop project. The social enterprise, based in Carlisle, diverts excess building materials from landfill and offers them to the public at a reduced cost, whilst also supporting community projects with free building materials. The Tool Library and workshop scheme is a complementary addition to this, promoting cheap and practical ways for people to reduce their carbon footprint.
Masie Hunt of the Rebuild Site CIC said, ‘We are absolutely thrilled to receive a climate grant to support the first year of the Carlisle tool library. The funding will be instrumental in training our volunteers and staff, and in running our first DIY workshops. The tool library will give our local communities the means to reduce their carbon impact and spending by borrowing instead of buying DIY equipment. Our thanks to CAfS and the Cumbria Sustainability Network for making this possible.”
£10,000 was also awarded to South Lakes Action on Climate Change, for its low carbon food café. The ‘Waste into Wellbeing’ initiative, located in Kendal, uses surplus and waste food. This project builds on recommendations from the Kendal Climate Jury and will provide a hub for climate change help and support.
Chris Rowley of SLACC said; “Reducing carbon emissions is pivotal in our plans for a hub that puts good fresh food from surplus at the heart of supporting our community when responding to the cost of living and climate crises. Receiving this grant will make a big difference to us as we develop the partnership between SLACC (Waste into Wellbeing), Kendal town council and Stricklandgate house, to act on to recommendations from the Kendal Climate Jury.”
Other grants awarded were: £7,000 to Handpicked Productions CIC with The Promise Opera; £10,000 to Barton & Pooley Bridge Community Fund with the Ullswater Valley Hopper Bus; £4,400 to Brampton and Beyond Energy Ltd with anaerobic digestion market research; £5,000 to Brampton 2 Zero for a Community Engagement Office and finally £1,325 to Wellbeing Westmorland CIC with support for Kendal Cycling festival.
The Community Climate Grants are part of a programme of work being led by Cumbria Action for Sustainability on behalf of the countywide Zero Carbon Cumbria Partnership, a consortium of organisations which have a shared ambition for Cumbria to be the first county to achieve net zero carbon by 2037.
Helen Attewell, Coordinator of the Cumbria Sustainability Network said, “The Community Climate Grants are an excellent way of encouraging new ideas to tackle climate change by raising awareness and cutting carbon emissions. Although the large grant programme is closed for now, we are still allocating grants of up to £2,000 so it remains a great opportunity for community-based groups to take action in support of a zero carbon Cumbria.”
For more information and ideas on how you can get involved please visit: Zero Carbon Cumbria – Community Climate Grants – CAfS