Friday, 17 July 2009

Local projects receive £600,000 in ‘big green challenge plus’


Community projects aimed at reducing carbon emissions and developing clean, local energy sources are set to receive up to £20,000 funding under a new partnership between the Department of Energy and Climate Change and NESTA

Community projects aimed at reducing carbon emissions and developing clean, local energy sources are set to receive up to £20,000 funding under a new partnership between the Department of Energy and Climate Change and NESTA.

The collaboration between DECC and NESTA (the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts) will see direct funding and support packages, worth a total of £600,000, provided by DECC to 17 grassroots projects across England. NESTA will administer the scheme.

A low carbon co-operative in Manchester, a project to deliver local hydro power from water mills near Bath, and a plan to install renewable energy technologies on local farms around Winchester, are among the projects to receive funding under the ‘Big Green Challenge Plus’ partnership.

The new money is in addition to funding already allocated by NESTA to 10 Big Green Challenge finalists, announced in October. The winners of the original Challenge will be revealed later this year, sharing in prize money of £1 million. Because of the calibre of the applicants, DECC has agreed to provide funding for a further 17 projects.

Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband said:

“Local solutions to the global problem of climate change are vital if we are to make the shift to a low-carbon future. Yesterday we set out how the Government will achieve this in our UK Low Carbon Transition Plan, but we also need the support of householders and communities across the nation. The winners of Big Green Challenge Plus provide an example of the grassroots action we need to encourage in order to meet our goals.

“I was impressed by the quality of the shortlisted projects – and heartened to see so many people and groups across the country showing real initiative and ingenuity in their approaches.

“We want to support people in their efforts so they can reap the benefits of cleaner energy, a better quality of life, and stronger, cohesive communities.”

NESTA chief executive Jonathan Kestenbaum, said:

“We think that the Big Green Challenge Plus is an inspiring project and that’s been reflected in the high-standard of innovative ideas that have been submitted.

“Community involvement is a vital element in tackling climate change but it’s one piece of the jigsaw that is often ignored by policy makers. So it’s great news that this kind of approach is being recognised by Government.

“We know there is no ‘miracle cure’ to the environmental challenges that we face but giving people the opportunity to get actively involved has to play its part.”


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