The Telford & Wrekin Climate Change Fund is a sustainable initiative being offered by Telford & Wrekin Council as part of its commitment to be carbon neutral by 2030, with the aspiration for the borough to be carbon neutral by then too.
The council recognises that communities may need support and guidance to reduce their carbon footprint and is providing grants for projects that help them tackle climate change. Grants of up to £5,000 are available to local organisations for projects that reduce carbon emissions and support a green recovery at a local level.
Cllr Carolyn Healy, Telford & Wrekin Council cabinet member for the natural environment and climate change, is championing the grant offer. She said: “As well as supporting carbon storage projects like our Trees4TW free trees giveaway, we have set up this £100k fund to help local organisations reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, reduce consumption and implement activities around climate change mitigation and adaptation. We can all do something that makes a difference.”
Applications for grants were invited from parish and town councils, small businesses, community groups, friends groups, faith groups, schools and nurseries for a range of carbon reducing ideas, such as: renewable energy generation – solar PV panels, hydro turbines, ground or air source heat pumps; energy efficiency measures – LED lighting, loft insulation, water conservation, upgrading heating systems, lighting or heating controls, double/triple glazing; sustainable travel – cycle stands, electric bikes, EV charging points; and reducing waste – re-use initiatives, community composting, reduce single use plastic.
To encourage local organisations to get involved, Telford & Wrekin Council’s Climate Change Fund was launched in 2021. It invited applications from local businesses, schools, organisations and groups to apply for funds to support projects that would help them reduce their carbon footprint.
This was the first time the fund was operated and interest has been very strong, reaffirming the council’s findings that the majority of local people are concerned about climate change. In total, the council received 69 applications with grant requests totalling over £250,000, far in excess of the £100,000 originally allocated.
All applications were considered by a panel including members of the council and independent representatives from the Borough Climate Change Partnership.
A total of 31 applications were seen to meet the funding criteria most strongly and those organisations have now be awarded grants to help deliver their climate change projects over the next year. Projects include installing low energy lighting, roof-mounted solar panels, bike storage facilities and electric vehicle charging points.
As the grant has been so successful, the council plans to open up future opportunities to bid to the fund.
Cllr Carolyn Healy, Cabinet Member for Climate Change, Green Spaces, Natural and Historic Environment, said: “I’m delighted that this fund has received so many strong applications. It’s a testament to the fact that those people running our local businesses, schools and organisations not only care about the climate crisis but are actively taking steps to help tackle it. We have been able to fund a wide range of projects right across the borough, and successful schemes will be promoted to other organisations to raise awareness of how they can also play their part in tackling climate change."
The council has also set up a dedicated climate change website – www.sustainabletelfordandwrekin.com – to encourage others to think about what they could do. The website includes lots of great sustainability ideas and a growing community of people who are making a difference.
Renewable energy generated.
Energy efficiency measures installed.
Sustainable travel initiatives supported.