The National Lottery Community Fund has announced more than £14 million in grants going to communities across the UK to tackle climate change.
These grants are the first to be announced as part of the National Lottery-funded Climate Action Fund, a ten-year £100 million fund that will reduce the carbon footprint of communities and support community led movements that can demonstrate what is possible when people take the lead in tackling climate change. Funding from The National Lottery Community Fund will support these projects to work together, share learning and be catalysts for broader and transformative change.
Middlesbrough Environment City Trust – one of the 14 grants announced today – has been awarded almost £1.6 million in National Lottery funding to work across sustainable food, transport, domestic energy use, waste and natural environment, with the aim to raise 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.
The Women’s Environmental Network Trust, in partnership with London Leap, has been awarded £2.1 million 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. The Network will create a community-led blueprint for grassroots food and environmental work to be shared with other London boroughs and cities across the UK.
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.
“Thanks to National Lottery players we’re now bringing these communities together so they can address climate change, learn from each other and have an impact within and beyond their communities.”
Another project, Duchy College, part of The Cornwall College Group (TCCG), 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. The project will create opportunities for farmers in Cornwall to learn about economically beneficial changes they can make to farming practice, through bespoke farm carbon footprint calculating, targeting soil health, peer-to-peer learning on effective action, and support networks for farmers and their surrounding communities.
Beth Summers, Co-Director at The Women’s Environmental Network Trust: “We are excited to say that thanks to National Lottery funding we will be able to launch a ground-breaking project for climate action in our East London borough of Tower Hamlets. Our project, Just FACT (a Just Food and Climate Transition) will enable community led solutions to reducing the carbon impacts of our local food system.”
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 awards announced today include both large scale partnerships grants (6) and development grants (8) (full table is below). Development grants are funding for 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.
The Community Foundation for Northern Ireland has been awarded £200,000 through a development grant. It will bring together the community of Derry/Londonderry to create local resilient local food systems by upskilling local people in food growing. This project is building on existing climate action work in the city, such as the Acorn Farm, which is a central hub for food growing and climate action education.
In Wales, a development grant of nearly £240,000 has been given to the Welcome to Our Woods project, which explores how the community can use its natural timber forest assets to create economic and social opportunities. The project will also look at how the local community can work and live, in a way which positively impacts the climate and reduces their carbon footprint.
Welcoming the grant, Ian Thomas, of the project, said: “We are thrilled to be awarded this National Lottery Climate Action Fund Development Grant. It will enable us to build on the work of Welcome to our Woods over the last 10 years, and invest further in building community stewardship of the Treherbert landscape for the benefit of the community and the climate”.
The Climate Action Fund is part of The National Lottery Community Fund’s Environment Strategy which has seen significant National Lottery investment through community-led projects that are focussed on activities that not only improve the environment but use it to enhance the lives of people and communities. Since April 2013, the Fund has awarded more than £340 million to environmental projects, through just under 4,800 grants.
Thanks to National Lottery players, £41 billion has been raised for more than 565,000 good causes across the UK since 1994. National Lottery players raise £30 million every week for good causes in the UK. The National Lottery is playing a critical role in supporting people, projects and communities during these challenging times.
To find out more visit www.TNLCommunityFund.org.uk