Community Energy Plus News

South East Cornwall coastal communities asked for input on £1m funding bid

Communities living on the South East Coast of Cornwall are being encouraged to help shape a bid for a community project which, if successful, could bring up to £1 million from the Big Lottery Fund into their area for a project lasting up to five years.

A short online sustainability survey can be completed online at www.cep.org.uk or over the phone through Community Energy Plus’s independent energy advice centre on 0800 954 1956.  Responses are needed before 25th May.

Possible activities for the project include encouraging electric car clubs, car-sharing, enabling more walking and cycling and supporting the establishment of local food projects.  The project could also help to support active lifestyles, assist with the development of community owned renewable energy schemes that generate a local income, provide green tourism and business opportunities as well as preparing for future flood events and respond to coastal erosion.

The Cornish social enterprise Community Energy Plus is developing a bid for the Big Lottery Fund’s Communities Living Sustainably initiative. They are asking for people living and working in parishes within Cornwall’s South East Coastal area to submit their views on what’s needed in their local area to help their community live in a more sustainable way, whilst coping with the impacts of climate change.

The specialist local charity has made it through the first step of their funding bid by winning a £10,000 grant from the Big Lottery Fund to further develop their proposals which will be submitted at the end of June. To ensure that the project meets local priorities, communities around St Blaise, Tywardreath and Par, Fowey, Lantgelos, Lansallos (Polperro), Looe, St Martin-by-Looe, Deviock, Sheviock, Anthony, St John, Maker with Rame, Millbrook and Torpoint are being consulted on their views about the sustainability issues that matter most in their area.

Community Energy Plus works to help householders in Cornwall enjoy warmer, energy efficient homes and supports communities develop and deliver sustainable energy projects. In developing this project the social enterprise are building on recent work undertaken by Fowey Renewable Energy Enterprise, Polperro United Renewable Energy and Rame Renewable Energy.

Ian Smith, Managing Director of Community Energy Plus said: “The coastal communities of South East Cornwall face major challenges in the future from climate change but if brought to fruition, this project would have a significant positive impact on the wellbeing of local residents and businesses.  We need to know what activities and themes the communities think the project should prioritise in their areas so that we can develop a project that truly meets their needs and aspirations for a more sustainable future.”

Mark Cotton, Big Lottery Fund’s Head of the South West region, said: “We want to support local communities to make greener choices to improve their quality of life and help them to become resilient to the changing environment. The small steps being taken by these projects will have a big impact and will hopefully spark a change in behaviour that makes sustainable living second nature to us all.”

The detailed bid is being produced in partnership with a range of organisations including Cornwall Council, The Academic Community in Cornwall, The Environment Agency, Cornwall Sustainable Tourism Network (CoaST) and The Eden Project.

The Big Lottery Fund’s Communities Living Sustainably programme aims to inspire people to adapt the way they live, work and connect together to reap financial, environmental and health gains.  Later in the year, ten of the schemes will be chosen to receive up to £1 million to deliver their ideas. The learning gained from the ten funded projects over a five-year period will be shared with other communities in England to inform and influence others on how communities can become more sustainable.

Further information about the Communities Living Sustainably programme is available online at www.communitieslivingsustainably.org.uk