Community groups and town and parish councils across Cumbria are set to benefit from a total of £40,000 of funding to initiate or progress renewable energy projects in their area.

Our Low Carbon Communities team have produced a comprehensive report which explains what community renewable energy is, and details different models. It covers key considerations and challenges and gives examples and mini-case studies of a wide variety of existing projects already in existence across the county.

CAfS Low Carbon Communities Programme Manager, Molly Hogg, said “Our research and report gave us real insight into the help groups need to develop renewable energy projects in their area, and we’ve used that information to guide the support we’re now able to offer.

Three levels of support are available, starting with 30 minutes of free advice. Groups can then apply for consultancy support, and subsequently two groups will receive a grant of up to £10,000 each to progress their projects further.

Molly continued “We’ve got experts experienced in delivering renewable energy projects in local Cumbrian communities on hand and ready to give advice from an initial advisory phone call, right through to obtaining grant funding to get projects implemented and generating.

To share more information about community renewable energy and the support available, two free online events are being held. The first, hosted in partnership with the Cumbrian Association of Local Councils (CALC), is at 19:00 on Thursday 29 June. With five expert speakers, this event will introduce the concept of community renewable energy, and attendees will hear about the role of local councils, and also find out about the projects already installed in Cumbria. The event will also introduce the support available, including the package of support offered by CAfS. A follow up event hosted by Cumbria Sustainability Network will be held on 6 July, which will give attendees an opportunity to discuss community renewable energy.

To find out more, click here. The support project has been organised by CAfS as part of the Zero Carbon Cumbria programme led by a partnership of over 80 organisations from the private, public and third sectors working towards net zero by 2037, funded by the National Lottery Community Fund.