A new Community Climate Grant fund of £100,000, backed by The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK, has been launched by Cumbria Action for Sustainability this month to help local community groups fight climate change.  

 Groups can now apply for grants ranging from £200 to £10,000, for projects and events to raise awareness of the urgent need to stop climate change and to reduce carbon emissions from energy use, land use, waste and transport. 

 The grants are part of the Zero Carbon Cumbria Partnership’s ambitious emission reduction programme to make Cumbria carbon neutral by 2037.    

 CAfS chief executive, Karen Mitchell, said: “The aim of the climate grants is to help communities to reduce carbon emissions. Thanks to National Lottery players, we can support local groups to bring about changes that will contribute to reaching net zero carbon in Cumbria while also benefiting local people. Getting people out of their cars and walking, using bikes or public transport, or sharing car use with others, are examples of actions that tackle climate change but also help householders by saving money on their petrol or diesel bills and getting some fresh air in the process. Similarly, an initiative like a repair cafe helps to reduce waste and the need to buy new things, while also saving money. 

“The government pledges from COP26 in Glasgow will have some impact on the climate emergency, but we know that change must also come from local communities. We would particularly like to hear from new groups starting up in communities that haven’t had the opportunity to tackle these issues before, as we can support their development.” 

 The launch of the new grants comes just weeks after the UN climate conference in Glasgow closed, highlighting the need for action at all levels – from governments to communities. 

 Nick Gardner, Head of Climate Action at The National Lottery Community Fund, says: “Thanks to National Lottery players, we’re able to support CAfS to reach community groups who are working towards creating a zero carbon Cumbria.  Community groups in Cumbria will be able to bring their climate action work to life by accessing this new Community Climate Grant fund.  

 “Communities across the UK have an important role to play in supporting the UK to get to its Net Zero target, and by taking climate action we are not only making significant environmental improvements but are also helping people and communities prosper and thrive.” 

 Most grants will be awarded in small amounts, with a straightforward application process that’s been designed with community groups in mind. Funding of £750 can be available within a matter of days for projects that meet the eligibility criteria, with medium grants of up to £2,000 being assessed and awarded within a month.  A small number of larger grants of up to £10,000 will also be made to projects that are judged to have the most impact on carbon-saving.  The grants are open to not-for-profit groups based in Cumbria. 

 CAfS is running the grant scheme in partnership with the Cumbria Sustainability Network of more than a dozen community groups from across the county that are working to tackle climate change.  

There are full details about the grant fund at cafs.org.uk, and groups can also find out more at a webinar on Thursday 25 November at 1pm, which is open for booking now on the CAfS website.  

 More details can be found at Community Climate Grants - CAfS 

 Booking details for the webinar can be found at Community Climate Grants – Launch Webinar (cafs.org.uk) 

 Potential applicants are encouraged to get in touch with [email protected] if they would like advice or support on making an application.