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Council approves funding for local green projects

Eleven community projects that seek to reduce carbon emissions, enhance biodiversity or support community engagement in climate change have been awarded funding by Uttlesford District Council.

As part of its climate change action, the council has made £300,000 available over two years to enable funding of community projects across the district. The ambition of the fund is to stimulate engagement within the community about climate change action and to share project ideas, success and learning.

The Zero Carbon Communities Grant Fund was open to community groups and parish and town councils, with grants of up to £35,000 available.

The projects to be awarded funding are:

·       Birchanger Wood Trust - £3,451 - for the installation of bee swarm boxes in Birchanger Wood

·       Felsted Parish Council - £1,200 - to carry out a biodiversity survey of parish council grassed areas

·       Quendon & Rickling Parish Council - £5,425 - for pond clearance work

·       Radwinter Recreation Ground Charity - £7,500 - to install solar panels on the community pavilion

·       Saffron Walden Community Energy Ltd - £34,000 - towards the next phase of the Littlebury Energy Project decarbonisation plan

·       Sustainable Stansted - £2,000 - to support a community engagement project focussed on domestic energy consumption and carbon emission reduction

·       Stansted Mountfitchet Parish Council - £34,900 - for replacement sodium-powered streetlights

·       Stebbing Parish Council - £2,200 - for the creation of a community nature area at Mill Lane playing field

·       Stebbing Tennis Club - £14,750 - for new low-energy LED lighting units

·       Wicken Bonhunt Parish - £15,000 - to install a ground-mounted solar energy system at St Margaret's Church and Community Centre

·       Wimbish Parish Council - £5,000 - for the restoration and creation of wildflower meadows

Cllr Louise Pepper, Portfolio Holder for Environment and Green Issues, said: "I'm pleased we have been able to provide funding for these projects. We received applications from a good range of initiatives which highlights the commitment of our communities in wanting to make a positive environmental impact in their neighbourhoods.

"The council declared a climate emergency in 2019 and is working to reduce its own carbon footprint whilst also encouraging and enabling communities to do so too. This grants scheme is one way that can help us to reach our goal."

In total, £125,000 in grants have been allocated in year 1 of the grants scheme. The list of successful projects was approved by Cabinet at a meeting last night (16 March) following an evaluation and selection process.

Any surplus funding will roll forward into year 2 and an application process will open later this year.

17 March 2023