Sixteen organisations dedicated to reducing their carbon emissions have secured funding from a £120,000 pot made available by St Helens Borough Council.
Among them are the Newton-le-Willows Sea Cadets, who received grant funding to install energy efficient LED lighting in their building.
The funding pot, opened in Summer 2021, supported bids up to a maximum of £10,000 to businesses with less than 250 employees, and up to £5,000 for community organisations such as charities, voluntary and faith groups, with some of the recipients providing match-funding.
All these businesses and organisations aim specifically to reduce carbon emissions or to increase an organisation’s resilience to the impacts of climate change, with projects including the installation of solar panels, electric vehicle charging points, energy efficient LED lighting, , local food growing initiatives and more.
Janet Shelton, Vice Chair of the Newton-le-Willow Sea Cadets, said:
“We’ve been in our current building, originally an old church, since 1942. Maintenance is never-ending and we are always looking for grants to improve the building and ways of reducing our bills.
“Receiving this grant has made a huge difference already as we have been able to reduce the number of light fittings needed or changed them to smaller fittings and still get a better lighting. The rooms look much brighter and it would have taken us a long time to save for this project without support.
“We hope our cadets can see that just by changing a light bulb it can make a difference. But I also think that our role relating to climate change has to improve and we need to look at further improvements as a long-term effect rather than a quick fix. We are all responsible for doing our bit.”
The full list of recipients is:
Newton-le-Willows Sea Cadets, Care Assured Ltd, Fizz Guru Ltd, ES Paradis Beauty Salon and Training Academy, TD Construction Testing Ltd, Houghwood Golf Ltd, ProNetix Ltd TA Drivernet, Brownlow Utilities, The Mount, Ava Marie Foundation, Sidac Sports and Social Club, Liverpool St Helens Rugby Club, Lucem House Community Cinema Plus, AG Force Ltd, Hope Centre, My Outdoor Classroom CIC.
The funding opportunity followed the establishment of a multi-agency Climate Change Commission, set up in response to the council’s declaration of a climate emergency and a commitment to achieving zero-carbon status by 2040.
Since then, the council has also published a Climate Response Plan, reaffirming its commitment to the net zero vision and setting out some immediate steps.
Councillor Andy Bowden, St Helens Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment, said: “This scheme represents a £120,000 investment in these forward-thinking businesses and community groups, enabling them to make the environmental difference that they want to achieve. It has given them the support they need, after such a difficult period, to act and move us towards a low-carbon, climate-resilient future for our borough.
“Climate change is a huge issue which impacts everyone, just this last week we have seen our borough heavily impacted by a succession of storms and this kind of impact could be something we have to deal with more regularly if we do not take steps like this and the implementation of our Climate Response Plan, with the support of our Climate Change Commission, to tackle it and its effect so we can all look forward to a greener future.”
Councillor Mancyia Uddin, Climate Change Champion for St Helens Borough Council, added: “Tackling climate change requires collective action at all levels and from all sectors. We are grateful to these 16 businesses and community groups for coming forward with their environmentally conscious ideas and improvements. The enthusiasm of our local communities, businesses and groups is brilliant to see, proving they are as equally committed to this hugely important agenda as we are.”
Funded projects will be completed by the end of March 2022, when the Climate Change Commission will review the success of the projects.