Bath & West Community Energy (BWCE) Fund has awarded grants to ten organisations in Bath & North East Somerset to help reduce carbon emissions and address fuel poverty. Now in its fourth year, the funding for the grant programme (which is administered by Quartet Community Foundation) comes from Bath & West Community Energy (BWCE) as part of its work to support local communities. A further grant will soon be awarded bringing the total awarded to £29,000.
This year 10 projects in the Bath area have been awarded, including a grant for Bath Carnival who are working towards becoming ‘the greenest carnival’, Timebank Plus in Twerton, who loan out items we all only use occasionally and Bath Spa Students’ Union to work with student volunteers to keep student housing insulated.
Bath Carnival – replacing floats with tricycles
Thanks to a BWCE Fund grant, Bath Carnival – which is setting out to become the greenest carnival in the country – will be replacing a number of floats and vehicles with tricycles, bicycles and pushchairs to reduce carbon emissions. The carnival is also looking at other measures to make the event more environmentally friendly.
“The BWCE Fund applauds Bath Carnival’s green ambitions and is delighted to support them in reducing emissions and raising awareness of environmental issues,” said BWCE Fund Trustee Sophie Hooper Lea.
Stuart Matson, of Bath Carnival, explains that “being awarded the grant is very important to us – it enables us to start reducing our carbon emissions and is the first step towards our long term aim of becoming the greenest carnival in the UK. We want to thank the Trustees of the BWCE Fund for their support.”
Timebank Plus – running a useful bank of practical household items
Timebank Plus in Twerton, Bath, was awarded a grant to continue the “Borrow it” library of things, a project that provides a bank of practical items that the community can borrow. The grant builds on the 2016 BWCE Fund grant to set up the project which helps reduce waste and manage resources by sharing items which are used only on an occasional basis such as drills.
Centre for Sustainable Energy – reducing emissions in the Somer Valley
The BWCE Fund aims to address fuel poverty in addition to reducing emissions, and the Panel awarded a grant to the Centre for Sustainable Energy towards the cost of providing door-to-door energy advice and two events in the Radstock and Midsomer Norton areas. Kate Thomas, Project Manager for the Centre for Sustainable Energy explains that “this project will make a difference to 200 local households in the Somer Valley (benefitting at least 500 people). In addition to behaviour change advice, households will benefit from simple energy saving measures such as LED light bulbs, radiator reflectors, door draught proofing and we will also be helping people to apply for grants to install insulation or for better heating”.
Swallow – increasing energy efficiency
SWALLOW in Radstock received a grant to makes changes to their office accommodation which will increase energy efficiency (and reduce costs) and improve working conditions for this member-led local charity supporting teenagers and adults with learning disabilities.
Using surplus profits to fund local projects
Chair of the BWCE Fund, Peter Harvey, said, “It’s very satisfying that BWCE not only give members a reasonable return on their investment but that, through the Fund, they are able to use surplus profits to fund a whole range of local projects. We are keen to support projects that will, by reducing carbon emissions, go towards protecting future generations from the effects of climate change. I am so proud that the BWCE Fund has now awarded a total of £138,500. We work with Quartet Community Foundation to provide the BWCE Fund grant programme in Bath and surrounding areas through which we have awarded 38 grants, with money going to community groups and a variety of local environmental organisations”.
“We’re delighted to be working with the BWCE Fund”, said Quartet Community Foundation’s Chief Executive Sue Turner. “This grants programme has the double benefit of supporting projects which reduce carbon emissions and those that tackle fuel poverty. It also often cuts groups’ energy bills, helping them to carry on running their services well into the future”.
Cllr Mark Shelford, Cabinet member for Transport & Environment, B&NES Council said, “I’m so pleased to see the range of projects that have won funding this year, helping Bath and North East Somerset improve on many sustainability issues, e.g. energy, travel and resource efficiency. Being able to give community organisations and groups this grant funding, made available as a result of the renewable energy generated by the local Bath & West Community Energy enterprise, is a win-win for us all in the fight against climate change.”