A community group in Ambleside with a goal for the town to become net zero carbon had a major boost in May after South Lakeland District Council announced a package of support.

Thanks to the council’s funding, CAfS will work alongside the Ambleside Action for a Future group to help them decide on a programme of actions to reduce carbon emissions.

Announcing the support at a meeting in the town on 20th May, Councillor Dyan Jones, the council’s portfolio holder for climate emergency and localism, said:

“Wise and prudent spending at South Lakeland District Council means we are able to support CAfS and the superb work they do with communities and businesses here in South Lakes. I am happy to endorse a group which is committed to do what they can to combat climate emergency. Good luck to Ambleside Action for a Future!”

Rhona Pringle from CAfS will help the group to create a detailed, costed action plan by March next year. Using her expertise and experience from guiding other communities around the UK, she’ll scope out the feasibility of different actions that Ambleside could take, ensuring that their efforts are put into initiatives that will have the most impact.

Rhona will support engagement with the community to develop the plan and identify any training local people might need, to equip them with the skills to transition to zero carbon. Crucially, she’ll also build in a way to share lessons learnt with other communities in South Lakeland.

Gillian Kelly, from Ambleside Action for a Future, said:

“We are delighted to have the active support of CAfS in the person of Rhona Pringle. Her input will be invaluable to a group of people who, although passionate about making a difference, have not been in this territory before and lack her considerable experience and knowledge of everything from sources of information to sources of funding. We feel fortunate indeed to have this opportunity to work with her as well as the backing of SLDC.”

CAfS will also offer a range of other services and events in South Lakeland, thanks to wider funding from the district council.

“Communities and organisations are increasingly aware that they need to take action to tackle the climate crisis, but the challenge for them is knowing what to do,” Rhona said. “Thanks to the council’s support, we will also run a series of events, including a low-carbon conference, an event for business leaders, a talk by a high-profile speaker, training courses, open homes and a bus tour visiting sites where people can see low-carbon technologies in use.

“We hope that these events will give households and businesses in South Lakeland a chance to find out about ways to cut their carbon footprint, whether at an individual level or in their organisations and communities,” Rhona said.

The funding will also see CAfS create an online knowledge hub where communities and individuals can learn about different ways of reducing their carbon footprint, including real examples of what others have done, how-to guides and videos.

“We’ll also continue our existing support for communities in South Lakeland – for example, with advice and support on funding for low-carbon projects, sharing expertise and helping them to promote events,” Rhona said.

The support by CAfS runs until the end of March 2020, and builds on several years of partnership working with the council.

Read the council’s press release