The Scottish Government’s innovative and popular Climate Challenge Fund (CCF) has been extended and as of this week is open to applications for the 2011/2012 round.
Already the CCF scheme has invested £27.4 million in 331 community projects between in 2008 and 2011 helping reduce carbon emissions by an estimated 696,212 tonnes – the equivalent of taking 225,000 cars off Scotland’s roads.
The draft budget (which is subject to parliamentary approval) announced on 17 November an increase in the CCF budget of one million pounds from £9.3 million in 2010/2011 to £10.3 million in 2011/2012.
Among the 331 projects supported so far are:
* Barhill Community Interest Company received funding to create a network of climate champions. Residents from Barrhill and neighbouring villages (Ballantrae, Lendalfoot, Colmonell and Bargrennan) engage with their communities to implement and promote energy conservation and other objectives aimed at achieving a sustainable environment.
* Kilwinning Community Sports Club set up a programme with CCF money, driven by the community, which combines healthy lifestyle choices, physical activity and green initiatives aimed at reducing the carbon footprint of their members and the wider community.
* Milnbank Community Housing Association received funding to engaging the local residents through a Carbon Reduction Programme to build a Sustainable Community Nursery and Environmental Education Centre.
Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead said:
“The enhanced Climate Change Fund, with an extra one million pounds on offer this year, is a further vote of confidence in the vital role that community action plays in tackling climate change.
“The original £27.4 million CCF scheme helped more than 330 projects across 261 communities the length and breadth of Scotland to reduce their carbon emissions. Our new funding pot will empower more communities to realise their carbon saving potential and allow many more new groups to become involved. As of this week, applications are invited from new and existing projects.
“Climate change is one of the most serious threats we face as a global community and we all need to play our part in tackling it. CCF has captured the imagination of our communities and I have been continually impressed and encouraged by the innovative ideas put forward. I am proud of the international leadership Scotland is taking in this arena and of the world-class grass-roots action by our communities throughout the country.”
George Chalmers, Project Coordinator for Milnbank Community Housing Association’s carbon reduction project said:
“The climate challenge fund has had a major impact on the Milnbank community. Not only has it saved over 2,000 tons of carbon but has also increased their quality of life. We look forward to continuing the good work in partnership with the new CCF fund.
Teresa Bray Chief Executive of environmental charity Changeworks said:
“As an established environmental charity, Changeworks very much welcomes the re-launch of the Climate Challenge Fund. The focus of the fund on community led action provides opportunities for innovation and for making significant, sustained carbon savings at a local level. Having worked with almost 100 groups providing support for applications, training and specialist advice, we are very pleased that existing and new groups will have the opportunity to build on their work tackling climate change. It is a strong recognition of the sector’s commitment, innovation and impact on the ground, where it matters”