Exciting new projects which cut carbon emissions and raise awareness of the climate emergency can now get off the ground, after eight Calderdale community groups were awarded funding during COP26.
Calderdale Council and the Community Foundation for Calderdale (CFFC) have announced the first round of grants, totalling £112,000, from their £1 million Climate Emergency Fund.
In summer 2021, community organisations, charities and schools were invited to apply for a share of the new fund, which the Council and CFFC launched as part of their joint work to raise awareness of the climate emergency and support local communities to lead work on saving energy and combatting climate change.
Calderdale aims to be carbon neutral by 2038, with significant progress by 2030. A key part of this ambition involves transport, buildings and education / awareness raising, and these were the focus of the first round of grants. Applications for the next rounds will open in March 2022 and October 2022.
Cllr Scott Patient, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Resilience, said:
“It has become even clearer during COP26 that local people want to play their part to protect the planet. We’ve always had kind and talented people in Calderdale doing their bit, and now we’re delighted to create even more opportunities for community action through the £1 million Climate Emergency Fund. The size of this fund shows our commitment to making Calderdale a zero-carbon place.
“We were impressed with the proposals that local organisations put forward in their funding bids, and are excited to see their projects get off the ground and start making a difference in Calderdale.”
Steve Duncan, CEO of CFFC, added:
“The Community Foundation for Calderdale is committed to supporting eco-friendly Calderdale projects for the long term. I am hopeful that the Foundation’s £500,000 investment is just the start of things to come. We are keen to work with philanthropists and local businesses to build a significant fund to make a difference in reducing the carbon footprint in the borough and we are delighted with the variety and calibre of applications from local organisations.”
Here are the stories of two of the successful Climate Emergency Fund applicants:
- Hour Car
Hour Car is a car share scheme that has operated in the Upper Calder Valley for 18 years. This Members’ Co-operative will use the grant to buy a new electric vehicle for its fleet, with a rapid charging facility to meet members’ needs. The plan is to locate the electric vehicle in the heart of Todmorden town centre, giving local people easy access to community car sharing which is good for the environment.
Kevin Hogan from Hour Car said:
“Our aim at Hour Car has always been to be as green as we can and we are beginning to move, with this grant, to electric cars as our next logical step. We also want to draw more people through this into car sharing. Having fewer cars on the road will always be the biggest contribution the Hour Car car club makes to lowering CO2 emissions.”
- Hope Baptist Church, Hebden Bridge
The church has taken a number of steps to improve energy efficiency, including restoring the Victorian self-closing door hinges, removing the huge cast iron radiators, installing app-controlled heating systems and a introducing a high-tech ventilation / heat recovery system.
Gerard Liston from Hope Baptist Church said:
“It has taken many years of research, fundraising and hard graft to improve the church’s energy efficiency, and our aim remains to provide a community sanctuary space that is sustainable for our organisation…and for the planet.
“The Climate Emergency Fund grant will help us find a viable solution to the large chapel windows, the last major weakness in the energy efficiency of this large, listed building.”
- £1 million Climate Emergency Fund: https://cffc.co.uk/climate-emergency-carbon-zero-fund/(external link)
- How the climate emergency is being tackled in Calderdale: www.calderdale.gov.uk/climateemergency