The National Lottery Community Fund has announced more than £14 million in grants for communities across the UK to help tackle climate change.
The grants are the first to be announced as part of the ten-year £100m National Lottery-funded Climate Action Fund.
Fourteen grants have been announced, including almost £1.6m to Middlesbrough Environment City Trust, and £2.1m to the Women’s Environmental Network Trust and London Leap. They include both large-scale partnerships grants and development grants, which fund emergent ideas and projects that need more time to develop partnerships, engage widely or test approaches and learn from them.
The National Lottery Community Fund will use learning from this first round of funding to help shape what happens next, and will test and learn throughout the programme.
Middlesbrough Environment City Trust will use the money it has been awarded in its work across sustainable food, transport, domestic energy use, waste and natural environment, with the aim of raising greater awareness of sustainable living and help to reduce the town’s carbon footprint. The project will focus on empowering young people to address climate change, through educational workshops and individual climate action in their own communities.
Mark Fishpool, Director of Middlesbrough Environment City, said:
“This new grant from the Climate Action Fund is fantastic news. With the shared enthusiasm and commitment of partners including Middlesbrough Council and Thirteen Housing Group, this is our once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to engage local communities and young people in taking action to address climate change and create a sustainable future for our town.”
The Women’s Environmental Network Trust, in partnership with London Leap, will use its funding to run a range of community food projects to deliver a sustainable food system across Tower Hamlets in London. The programme will set up community hubs across the borough to encourage food growing, set up community gardens, hold food co-ops, and explore ways of reducing plastic waste.
Another project, Duchy College, part of The Cornwall College Group, has been awarded almost £1.3 million to run The Farm Net Zero project, which aims to help the farming community move towards net-zero carbon emissions, while Wildlife Trusts of Wales (pictured) has been awarded almost £2.5m for its Climate Change Cymru project.
John Rose, Director and environment lead at The National Lottery Community Fund, said:
“From 25 years of funding environmental projects across the UK, we know that local community action is at the heart of delivering solutions that not only minimise the impact on the environment, but also offer additional benefits that people and communities can reap. In the last few months we have been reminded that communities truly understand their places and spaces, and so often play a vital role in responding in a crisis, and we’re confident with people in the lead communities can tackle climate action and responding to the climate emergency.”
The Climate Action Fund is part of The National Lottery Community Fund’s Environment Strategy. Since April 2013, the Fund has awarded more than £340 million to environmental projects, through just under 4,800 grants.