More funding is available for community and voluntary sector climate change projects.
Community and voluntary groups – particularly those in Nuneaton and Bedworth and North Warwickshire Boroughs – are once again being encouraged to apply for funding for their climate change mitigation and adaptation projects.
On 6 October 2020, Warwickshire County Council’s Cabinet approved the launch of a £1 million community fund for local schemes that will have an impact on carbon emissions and help address the climate change emergency in Warwickshire.
The first round of funding, which finished in August 2021, saw 69 projects being awarded a share of £625K to spend on a range of mitigation and adaptation projects. These covered a huge variety of activities, including:
- Schemes to restore areas of forestry that have been lost over time and create new habitats for a variety of wildlife;
- Schemes to install renewable energy technology, such as solar panels and heat pumps on community venues, to reduce their energy consumption and carbon emissions;
- Transport schemes that enable and promote active travel such as cycling and walking; and
- A project to launch the first repair cafe in Kenilworth, which joins cafes in Leamington, Rugby, Southam and Alcester, providing an opportunity for householders to get their broken items repaired while learning how to do it themselves in the future.
The Green Shoots Community Climate Change Fund is closely aligned to the Council’s refreshed Council Plan and reflects the principles of reducing social inequality as set out in the Levelling Up White Paper 2022.
Now, the fund is preparing for its second round of applications, looking to spend more in supporting community and voluntary projects that achieve the following:
- increase the adaptability and resilience of Warwickshire to the effects of climate change;
- reduce impacts on the environment; and
- ensure funded projects benefit the wider Warwickshire community.
In this round of funding Warwickshire County Council is keen to see more project applications from projects benefitting Nuneaton and Bedworth and North Warwickshire boroughs to ensure that the fund is distributed evenly across the County. The following groups are eligible to apply:
- ‘Not-for-profit' community and voluntary organisations in Warwickshire
- Town and Parish Councils
- Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council – as it does not have Town or Parish Councils
- schools, if applying as a PTA or ‘Friends of...’ group, excluding independently-funded schools.
Like any funding, there are certain general criteria which this fund seeks to support. These include, but are not limited to:
- mitigating or adapting to climate change and the environment
- benefits to the local community and connections between other groups and projects
- development of awareness in environmental issues and capacity building of local communities
- legacy and long-term impacts
- project risks and mitigation steps.
The current round of funding will be open for applications between Friday 17 June and Monday 19 September 2022.
There is no lower limit on how much a project can be funded for, but an upper limit on the costs of proposed projects has been set at £25k.
Cllr Heather Timms, Warwickshire County Council’s portfolio holder for Environment, Heritage and Culture, said: “The Warwickshire Green Shoots Fund is something that we are very proud of. It is the largest fund of its type offered by any local authority in the UK and represents an important step forward in our response to the Climate Change Emergency that this Council declared in 2019.
“There is already lots of fantastic work going on within Warwickshire County Council and our communities across the county to help reduce carbon footprints and minimise the effects we all have on our fast-changing climate. This fund offers a great opportunity to amplify and increase the scope of this activity and really embrace a community-powered approach to drive forward local solutions that together will make a real impact.
“The first round of funding was a great success and many of the projects that received a share of the £625K are already delivering upon their aspirations with an impressive array of unique and innovative projects.
“This time around, we are hoping to see more applications from Nuneaton and Bedworth and North Warwickshire because we want to ensure that this valuable funding is distributed evenly across the county. I hope as many community and voluntary organisations in these areas take advantage of this call to action and together we strive for a Warwickshire that is sustainable now and for future generations.”
Any community or voluntary groups wishing to arrange an informal chat about submitting a project for Green Shoots funding can email: GreenShoots@warwickshire.gov.uk
For more information about the scheme visit: https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/greenshootsfund
For more information about how Warwickshire County Council is facing the challenges of the climate change emergency, visit: https://www.warwickshireclimateemergency.org.uk/