Funding for a community led energy project

10 Jul, 2024
Three community organisations have been awarded £100k funding to develop community-led energy projects as part of the Transforming Energy Together programme.

​Eastside Community Trust along with Knowle West Media Centre and Southmead Development Trust have been awarded £100,000 funding each as part of the Transforming Energy Together programme. The funding will enable us to partner with residents in developing community-based projects that generate clean energy locally and reduce energy usage in homes and neighbourhoods, ultimately cutting energy bills, improving home comfort, creating green job opportunities, and driving sustainable investment at a community level.

The programme is part of the Innovate UK funded, Mission Net Zero project led by Bristol City Council. Part of the project is to support community organisations to engage with their local communities to develop robust business cases for community-led energy projects.

We have already developed climate action plans as part of Bristol Climate & Nature Partnership’s Community Climate Action Project, so have a good understanding of climate priorities and solutions that are important to their communities. We were chosen following an open application process which selected community organisations at a more evolved stage of working on climate action with their communities, and representing a diversity of communities across the city.

Amy Kinnear, CEO at Southmead Development Trust says

“After launching our community climate action plan in April we’re excited to be able to focus on specific priorities which our community raised. We’re looking forward to working with a partnership who understands the importance of hearing community voices and properly equipping community organisations when developing projects. Our aim is always for our projects to be strongly rooted in the Southmead community. To be resourced and supported to do that, especially on technical subjects like energy and buildings, is a great opportunity.”

Bristol has a goal to rapidly reduce its emissions that cause climate change. Community leadership and action on climate is a vital part of how the city will meet this goal in a fair way that benefits local people. Through Transforming Energy Together, communities can focus on developing projects to generate clean energy locally and on reducing energy use in homes and neighbourhoods, thereby reducing energy bills, making homes more comfortable, creating new job opportunities for local people, and generating investment at a neighbourhood level.

Councillor Martin Fodor, Chair of the Bristol City Council Environment and Sustainability Committee said,

“The Mission Net Zero project is an important part of the approach our city is taking towards meeting our climate and sustainability goals. The funding provided by Innovate UK is welcome and essential to ensure that residents can be fully involved in planning the climate action in their local area. Working together with communities, we hope to continue to unlock further financial support that leads to the delivery of tailored climate action and the creation of green jobs to support our evolving sustainable economy.”

Stacy Yelland, CEO of Eastside Community Trust says

“Eastside is proud and excited to be one of the three organisations chosen to work in partnership on the Transforming Energy Together programme. Our organisation has a long history of both working with communities and innovation in clean energy and we look forward to using those skills and experiences on this new project. This also builds on our collaboration with Bristol Climate & Nature Partnership and citywide colleagues on the Community Climate Action Project. The climate crisis is an important issue for local people, and we are excited to work closely with local people on how we can create solutions locally to this global challenge.”

Martha King, Creative Director at Knowle West Media Centre says

“We are thrilled that Knowle West is part of Transforming Energy Together. The programme puts communities front and centre of generating creative and investable ideas to address the climate emergency. It opens the opportunity to go beyond one-off pilots, towards scalable, system-level change and make real progress towards a just transition for people and planet.”

As part of the wider Mission Net Zero Project, the Transforming Energy Together programme is delivered by Bristol Climate & Nature Partnership, Centre for Sustainable Energy and Bristol Energy Network, with support from Bristol City Council.

You can get involved in Transforming Energy Together by contacting Vic vic@upourstreet.org.uk. Stay up to date by signing up to receive our fortnightly ebulletin.

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