COMMUNITY GROUPS taking action against the damaging impacts of climate change are to benefit from an extra £1.5 million.
The money will bolster the Climate Challenge Fund (CCF), enabling more carbon-cutting projects with a local focus to get underway. The cash boost, which takes the total budget for 2014-15 to £11.8 million, was announced alongside confirmation of the latest tranche of successful CCF projects, including the first Junior Climate Challenge Fund awards, by Minister for Environment and Climate Change Paul Wheelhouse.
Among the 18 recipients across Scotland sharing £1.9 million are:
- The Room to Roam Green Travel Hub in Aberdeenshire (£171,327). This project aims to reduce car use and carbon emissions in and around Huntly by developing a car club, e-bike rental scheme as well as promoting public transport alternatives to the car.
- The Carbon Crib in North Ayrshire (£58,764). This Junior Climate Challenge Fund project sets out to transform an area of derelict land in Beith into a food growing space; providing skills development opportunities for local young people while decreasing carbon emissions.
- The Greener Living Coupar Angus in Perth & Kinross (£158,728). This initiative, run by Forward Coupar Angus will help the community tackle climate change by working with local farmers to sell produce as well as providing workshops and space for residents to grow their own food. Greener travel options will also be created through a car club, bike festival and cycle training.
- Greenproofing the Kyle Centre in Highland (£67,545). This project, run by North Coast Connection, aims to make the Kyle Centre in Tongue more energy efficient; decreasing both carbon emissions and fuel bills while helping the community learn more about how to do the same in their own home.
- The Leith Community Food Project in Edinburgh (£98,650). Run by Leith Community Crops in Pots, this initiative will help locals grow their own food at sites including Leith Primary School, Stanwell Nursery and Dr Bell’s Family Centre.
During a visit to St Boswell’s Village Hall, a previous recipient of CCF support, Mr Wheelhouse said: “We know from the landmark report published by the IPCC earlier this week that climate change is a serious threat not only here in Scotland but across the globe. We need to work together at international, national and local level to tackle this most serious of issues.
“It’s great that so many communities around Scotland such as St Boswells are showing real desire and commitment to making a difference and I’m delighted to confirm funding for a further 18 new, diverse range of projects through our Climate Challenge Fund. Each will contribute to making Scotland a more sustainable place to live and that’s why I’m so pleased to announce the £1.5 million extra funding for future projects.
“The progress underway toward making the St Boswells Village Hall more energy efficient is fantastic and will provide real benefits to this community. I’ve seen first-hand how this local resource is being transformed into a greener hub and would encourage other communities here and elsewhere across Scotland to think about how they too can cut damaging greenhouse gas emissions and tackle climate challenge.”
David Gunn, Climate Challenge Fund manager at Keep Scotland Beautiful, said: “We congratulate the 18 community group projects awarded Climate Challenge Fund grants in this latest round of funding and are delighted to see the awards include three Junior Climate Challenge Fund projects led by young people. We look forward to working with all the groups in the implementation of their projects.
“Grants up to £150,000 per year, per project are available until March 2016 through the Climate Challenge Fund and Junior Climate Challenge Fund. We urge community groups to apply for grants and help make their local areas more sustainable places to live and work.
“The Climate Challenge Fund has been important in supporting 658 community group projects that have been awarded grants totalling more than £57.2 million. Keep Scotland Beautiful is very proud to be managing and developing the Climate Challenge Fund on behalf of the Scottish Government.”