A FUND worth £75,000 is now available to groups and organisations throughout the north west.

The Electricity North West fund focuses on any community-led projects or initiatives which reduce, manage, generate or purchase energy and focus on engagement and benefits to the local area and its communities.

One of the projects that have benefitted from the ‘Powering our Communities’ fund in Cumbria is ‘Farming Futures’ by Agrivoltaics, Cumbria Farmer Network and Cumbria Action for Sustainability, which sought to investigate the demand for, and viability of, on-farm renewables in Fellfoot and unlock barriers to implementation.

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Cumbria Action for Sustainability also had another project that received such funding last year, called ‘Accelerating Community Solar’, which will extend their solar projects to new communities across Cumbria, focusing on Keswick and the Duddon Valley to increase the amount of community-owned solar power across the county.

Electricity North West is now inviting applicants for projects that put community and local energy at the heart of communities, and in particular, demonstrate how they can contribute to the delivery of one, or more, of three priorities.

These priorities are: helping communities to establish a group or develop the scop for a community energy project, scaling up delivery of a community or local energy project or group and addressing a specific barrier that is holding back the development of community or local energy.

They added that they are looking for projects that 'lay the foundation' to help communities deliver projects with significant impacts such as carbon savings, local economic benefits, enhanced community resilience and communities that feel more empowered to take action on climate change.

Applications will be accepted from a wide range of organisations, including charities, schools and local authorities, but also businesses of a wide range of sizes, and industrial provident societies and community benefit societies.

Electricity North West included: “We particularly welcome applications from ethnic minority groups or other groups that are often ‘seldom hears’ or at risk of being left behind as we move towards renewable energy.”

Project successful in their funding bid will receive between £1,000 and £15,000 of the £75,000 of total funding available, and the project will need a bank account to accept the funding.

The deadline for applications is Tuesday, July 19, 2022.

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