Today [17 August], Cumbria has received the good news that £2.5 million in National Lottery funding is going to Cumbria Action for Sustainability to work with communities across the county to take action and tackle climate change.
The grant from The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK, will see Cumbria Action for Sustainability work alongside 70 local organisations to lower carbon emissions with the goal of moving closer to a net zero carbon Cumbria.
The organisations working in their county-wide Zero Carbon Cumbria Partnership will put the voice of local people at the heart of the project, encouraging residents to contribute to a series of citizen’s juries and a community-led programme on climate action. A focus will be given to young people in Cumbria through a leadership programme, which will amplify their voices and enhance their position of influence in the conversations around climate action in their county.
The project will not only help the local environment but will also see additional community benefits that local people can reap. These benefits include fresher food, local employment opportunities, saving money through renewable energy schemes and the creation of more repair cafes across the county, where people can recycle household objects and appliances rather than taking them to landfill. One element of the project, called Grow Local Eat Local, will increase the amount of fruit, vegetables and cereal crops produced in Cumbria for local use.
Cumbria will also be a test bed for two new community energy programmes, through this National Lottery funding, with innovative community-owned models of generating, storing and sharing energy. The project – which is made possible thanks to National Lottery players – allows people and communities in Cumbria to take the lead by helping to make their home low carbon and climate resilient.
Karen Mitchell, Chief Executive of Cumbria Action for Sustainability, said: “This is amazing news for Cumbria! Thanks to National Lottery players, our county is set to launch a major five-year programme of activity to work towards a zero carbon Cumbria, at the urgent pace required by the climate crisis and in a way that benefits communities.
“Councils, the NHS, police, national parks, businesses and the farming community are all among those taking part. And we’re especially proud that it will also contribute to climate action around the whole country, by trialling projects and ways of working that can be replicated elsewhere. This Climate Action Fund award offers Cumbria an unprecedented opportunity to drive real change in our carbon emissions and benefit our communities for generations to come.”
This grant is one of the first fourteen grants 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 demonstrating what is possible when people take the lead in tackling climate change. All the projects across the UK will work together, share their learning and be active participants in a broader movement of change within and beyond these communities.
Nick Gardner, Head of Climate Action at The National Lottery Community Fund, said: “We’re delighted that, thanks to National Lottery players, people and communities across Cumbria will be taking action to reduce their carbon footprint and demonstrate what is possible when people take the lead in tackling climate change.
“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 that with people in the lead communities can tackle climate action and respond to the climate emergency.”
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 almost 5,000 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