£500,000 Community Environment Fund reopens

A £500,000 fund that brought wildflowers, bees, upcycling, food planting and climate awareness to communities across the Liverpool City Region has been re-opened for 2022 by Mayor Steve Rotheram.

Applications for Phase II funding are now open – with grants available for high impact community environment projects throughout the city region. This year, grants will be available for smaller projects of up to £5,000, with up to £30,000 available for larger projects.

Last November, local leaders approved a further £500,000 to bring back Mayor Steve Rotheram’s Community Environment Fund for 2022 with a view to making the scheme larger and self-sustaining through private sector backing.

More than 150 bids were received for last year’s successful pilot with 58 projects chosen to share the £500,000 pot.

Schemes were delivered between March and September and included composting, the creation of an edible wall, work to restore habitats, climate education and the creation of a garden to help elderly people with physical and mental health issues.

Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region said, “Climate change is the single greatest challenge our planet faces – and how we step up to the plate will be the defining moment in our generation’s legacy. It will require an enormous, collective effort to deliver the long-term changes that we need.

“In the Liverpool City Region, we are working non-stop on significant projects to accelerate our transition to be net carbon zero by 2040 – at least a whole decade before national government targets. We’re pushing forward with plans to stake our place as the UK’s renewable energy coast. We have the natural assets and underlying strengths in abundance to grasp that opportunity with both hands, through pioneering projects such as Mersey Tidal Power and HyNet.

“But individuals have a vital part to play too. Taken together, lots of small actions from ordinary people working together with a common purpose can make a massive difference. That’s what the Community Environment Fund is all about; empowering our people to take action to improve their local area.

“I was blown away by the imagination of last year’s projects. From educating children on the importance of biodiversity and air quality, to beautifying our streets with wildflower meadows, and even urban beekeeping. It’s proper devolution in action – empowering our communities to deliver real, lasting change to their lives and the future of our planet.”

The 2022 fund’s objectives are to:

  • Improve the Liverpool City Region’s environment
  • Develop opportunities for environmental education to encourage long-term behavioural change
  • Promote community buy-in and participation to safeguard the long-term sustainability of quality green spaces

The fund will also seek to help the Liverpool City Region become net carbon zero by 2040, reduce air pollution and improve the health and wellbeing of people across the whole city region.

A business case for a long-term, self-sustaining Community Environment Fund has been developed.

The fund will help community environment organisations develop grant application skills to improve access to further local, regional, national and international funding streams.

The project aims to raise environmental awareness and deliver a physical impact – including biodiversity and carbon capture and to regenerate local communities.

It will also seek to increase employee productivity and improve the mental and physical wellbeing of residents – tackling health inequalities within high priority groups.

The fund’s application criteria have been decided by the Liverpool City Region Climate Partnership which was set up to provide expert advice on tackling the climate emergency.

Climate Partnership Chair Gideon Ben-Tovim OBE said, “Last year’s Community Environment Fund delivered a real variety of inspirational projects that showed how acting locally can make a real difference to a global problem. Now that the fund has reopened, I am sure we will once again be inspired by the quality of the projects that come forward.”

To find out more about the Community Environment Fund, please visit: Community Environment Fund 2022 | Liverpool City Region Combined Authority (liverpoolcityregion-ca.gov.uk)

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