By Joshua Robinson –
Communities will benefit from grants of up to £50,000 to deliver projects that help their area become greener and more resilient to climate change.
Tracy Brabin, the Mayor of West Yorkshire, has launched the £1.7 million community grants scheme to help cut carbon emissions and make neighbourhoods across the region greener and healthier.
Projects that could benefit from grants of up to £50,000 include those that:
- protect nature
- improve people’s wellbeing through walking and cycling
- improve the energy efficiency of buildings
- support the production of renewable energy
Each project that applies for a grant must demonstrate that it has supported a disadvantaged community and a reduction in carbon emissions.
The West Yorkshire Combined Authority will deliver the funding in partnership with the region’s five local authorities (Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds, and Wakefield), who will issue the funds according to their local net zero priorities.
The scheme, which is open to community and voluntary groups as well as social enterprises, will provide grants to projects to be delivered by December 2024.
Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin:
Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, said: “We are determined to create a greener, fairer region in the face of the climate emergency and cost of living crisis.”
“That’s why we’re stepping in to help communities make that essential transition to net zero and become more resilient against the effects of climate change.”
Tracy Brabin added: “As we work to deliver our mission of a net zero West Yorkshire by 2038, we need to make sure that no community is left behind.”
“That is why we’re working with our partners and local people across the region to make positive, greener changes that will benefit all.”
Cllr Jane Scullion:
Cllr Jane Scullion, Leader of Calderdale Council and Chair of the Climate Committee, said: “We really welcome these community grants to support local projects aimed at our priority of taking climate action – not just as a Council, but as a whole place, where working together gets the best outcomes for our environment.”
“Building on the fantastic ongoing joint work with the Community Foundation for Calderdale, we plan to use the Combined Authority funding to continue supporting local voluntary sector projects to tackle climate change.”
Cllr Jane Scullion added: “Many community groups in Calderdale are already leading the way on climate action and showing what’s possible, which is just what we need as the borough progresses the Calderdale Climate Action Plan and takes the lead on the ‘sustainable West Yorkshire’ mission as part of the recently launched West Yorkshire Plan, helping everyone to live sustainable lives.”
Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe:
Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe, Leader of Bradford Council, said: “This extra funding is very welcome in the Bradford District, and we hope it will inspire community groups to develop and realise some innovative projects to mitigate the effects of climate change and cut carbon emissions.”
“We are also keen to see expressions of interest from underrepresented groups and projects from groups which have no other source of funding. It is only by working together across all our communities that we can achieve our goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2038.”
Cllr Denise Jeffery:
Cllr Denise Jeffery, Leader of Wakefield Council, said: “We are already seeing the effects of climate change and we have no time to waste.”
“We have set ambitious carbon reduction targets, both for the Council and the district, and we know that to make progress we all need to work together.”
“These grants will make it much easier for our local communities to make some vital changes and reduce their carbon emissions, improving the quality of life for everyone in our district.”
Cllr Mohammed Rafique:
Cllr Mohammed Rafique, Leeds City Council’s Executive Member for Climate, Energy, Environment and Green Spaces, said: “Through cutting energy bills, creating and improving access to nature-rich green spaces, or by encouraging people to be more active–the actions we all take to tackle climate change are also key to closing some of Leeds’ most damaging inequalities.”
“While Leeds City Council has been leading by example and delivering hundreds of millions of pounds of climate action ourselves in recent years, we know that nobody knows our communities better than the groups and enterprises based within them.”
“That’s why I am delighted that, thanks to the Mayor of West Yorkshire and West Yorkshire Combined Authority, we are now able to directly provide funding to these groups, unlocking new opportunities to improve their areas and deliver even more climate action.”
Cllr Naheed Mather:
Cllr Naheed Mather, Cabinet Member for Culture and Greener Kirklees, said: “We have ambitious goals in Kirklees, to be Climate Ready and reach Net Zero by 2038, and we need as many groups and individuals as possible to take action. This scheme is a fantastic way to support our communities to get involved.”
“It’s great that the West Yorkshire Combined Authority share in our vision, these grants will make a real difference across Kirklees and all of West Yorkshire, with so many communities seeing the benefit.”