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Council teams up with Crowdfunder to launch climate emergency community funds

Community groups with ideas for projects to help tackle the climate emergency can now apply for match funding from Cornwall Councilwhich has joined forces with Crowdfunder to help residents get their plans off the ground. 

Through the Crowdfund Cornwall Climate Emergency Funds the Council is supporting projects and activities that will help Cornwall work towards becoming carbon neutral as part of its climate change action plan.  

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An online event hosted by Carbon Neutral Cornwall Hive is being held on September 26 where residents can learn more about how to apply for the new funds.  

There are three types of funding available: the Carbon Neutral Cornwall Fundthe Town and Parish Council and Community Fund, and the Forest for Cornwall Community Fund.  

The funds are available through the Crowdfunder website. 

These new funds complement the existing Grow Nature Seed Fund which is also helping to tackle the climate emergency by providing funding for communities to deliver small scale natural climate solutions. 

Edwina Hannaford, Cornwall’s cabinet member for climate change and neighbourhoods, said: “We want to inspire and back community projects that support the Council’s climate emergency response and ambition to become carbon neutral by 2030. 

“This could mean helping local councils and community groups get started on mapping their carbon footprint or preparing to put their plans into action or getting a tree planting project under way. Please tell us your ideas, join our online event and we can help bring them to life.” 

Ron Nolan, Cornwall’s portfolio holder for environment and public protection, said: “These three funding pots will really help groups who may have initial ideas for plans to improve their local environment for the benefit of residents but need some support to get their plans into fruition. 

“We look forward to seeing applications for this funding and working on tackling the climate emergency together.” 

The Carbon Neutral Cornwall Fund provides funding for projects or ideas that are helping tackle climate change either through reducing carbon production; removing carbon from the atmosphere; environmental activity other than tree planting; or increasing community resilience. 

If the idea or project meets the criteria a community group can apply for a grant to match fund between 20% and 40% of costs up to a maximum of £4,000. 

For exceptional projects that could offer a larger impact the Council could offer grants of up to £15,000.  

Successful projects need to show how they support the Council’s climate emergency response through one or more of the following:  

  • Reducing carbon emissions from households, businesses or organisations 

  • Promoting sustainable choices and behaviour change 

  • Creating new opportunities for renewable energy 

  • Supporting climate resilient communities and spaces 

  • Promoting the removal of carbon from the atmosphere through nature-based solutions

Projects under £2,000 are excluded because these projects are supported by the Grow Nature Seed Fund.

Tree planting activities are also excluded from the Carbon Neutral Fund because they are supported by the Forest for Cornwall Fund - see below.

The Town and Parish Council and Community Fund is for town and parish councils and communities which are developing plans in their neighbourhoods as part of their climate emergency response.  

Local councils and community groups can apply for a grant to match fund 50% of costs, up to £2,000, to develop their own carbon inventory, action plan or feasibility work.  

The fund is specifically for helping develop work to support local councils and community groups to understand their own carbon footprints and how they can reduce emissions and work towards carbon neutrality. Projects will be one of the following: 

  • Commissioning an emissions baseline study 

  • Developing an action plan to reduce emissions 

  • Feasibility work into carbon reduction projects 

The Forest for Cornwall Community Fund aims to support community-based projects that help to increase canopy cover in Cornwall and contribute to the 8,000-hectare Forest for Cornwall plans 

Examples of activities the Council would support include: 

  • Planting individual trees, copses and woodlands within amenity greenspace or improving grassland with public access. 

  • Converting or restoring amenity greenspace or improved grassland to community orchard. 

  • Hedgerow planting and individual tree planting in hedgerows 

  • Tree nurseries 

To apply, groups need to be a locally constituted and recognised 'not for profit' organisations. 

Once the group has raised 10% of the total project target, the Council pledge of £5,000 or 75% of the target (whichever is the lower) will be made. 

Please visit the Forest for Cornwall page for more information.  

To find out more about the Crowdfund Cornwall Climate Emergency Funds and how to apply, there is a free Carbon Neutral Cornwall Hive online event on Saturday 26 September, 1pm to 4pm.   

The event, hosted by Cllr Edwina Hannaford, will feature workshops on the new funds as well as the Community Infrastructure Levy Fund.   

There will also be masterclasses on the Carbon Buddy Manual, action planning for town and parish councils and community groups, and forest gardens. 

More information about the event is available on the Carbon Neutral Cornwall Hive and the Carbon Neutral Cornwall webpages.

Cornwall Council also offers the Grow Nature Seed Fund which supports small-scale projects for wildlife-rich spaces; the Community Chest Scheme which aims to help projects to improve local areas; and the Social Inclusion fund coordinated by the Council’s Adult Social Care service. 


Story posted on September 10, 2020