New £10m Government green fund – churches urged to apply!

The Church of England has welcomed the Government announcement of a new £10 million Local Energy Assessment Fund which gives community groups, including churches, a chance to bid for money.

The new Fund, announced by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, DECC, will provide grants for around 200 community organisations, including churches, to undertake energy efficiency projects and renewable energy generation in their area.

David Shreeve, the Church of England’s national environment adviser, said, “It is good news that DECC consider churches and other faith groups as vital parts of the local community. The deadline for application and delivery is tight but many churches are currently considering ways of harnessing renewable energy for their buildings and this may just be the spur they need.

“A recent communication I received from 10 Downing St stressed the Prime Minister’s recognition that Church assets often sit at the heart of the community Shrinking the Footprint the Church of England’s national environment campaign, provides advice and toolkits for the local church as it rolls out vital green community projects as part of its ministry and mission.”

There is around £50,000 available for each successful community to be used to help assess the potential for energy efficiency and local renewable energy generation and get things started in their area. This is a short-term scheme where work will need to be completed by end of March 2012.

Interested communities can apply via the Energy Saving Trust and money will be allocated in two rounds. The first round closes at noon on 22 December 2011 with successful applicants notified in the week beginning 9 January 2012. The second round will close to applications at noon on 20 January 2012 with successful communities notified at the end January.

Full details about the scheme can be found at www.greencommunitiescc.org.uk

You may also find help and advice on this, and other funding, at the new Oxfordshire based Low Carbon Hub: www.lowcarbonhub.org

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