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News release from: 22/03/2024

Zero Carbon Communities grant scheme launches for 2024

Zero Carbon Communities grant scheme launches for 2024

Community groups are being empowered to take action on climate change through a grant scheme encouraging local sustainability initiatives.

The popular Zero Carbon Communities grant scheme by South Cambridgeshire District Council is into its sixth year and opens for applications on Tuesday 2 April.

Last year, the total given through the grant since the scheme began topped more than half a million pounds.

The scheme underscores the Council’s commitment to being green to the core and encourages residents, community groups and parish councils to find ways to reduce carbon emissions and raise awareness to meet the climate challenge.

Cllr Pippa Heylings, Chair of South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Climate and Environment Advisory Committee, said: “Through this grant scheme, we can support and amplify the efforts of individuals and community groups. We recognise the immense potential within our community to effect meaningful change and contribute towards our district-wide climate change and doubling nature targets. By providing resources and support through the Zero Carbon Communities grant scheme, we have seen a snowball effect of local initiatives and we hope to further inspire residents to take concrete actions towards building a greener, more sustainable future for everyone in South Cambridgeshire.”

Projects are invited under two themes:

  • Reducing carbon emissions or locking up carbon.
  • Community engagement around climate change.

Grants of between £2,000 and £15,000 are available to parish councils and community groups in the District, with a total pot of £125,000 available.

Whether it's promoting sustainable active travel, implementing renewable energy solutions, hosting educational workshops or planting community gardens, the Council encourages creative and impactful ideas that promote environmental stewardship.

Previous projects have included community building retrofits, food waste and climate-friendly cooking education, as well as e-bike rental schemes. Examples include:

  • In 2023, Cambridge Carbon Footprint received £15,000 to expand their network of repair cafes in the district, diverting items from landfill and educating residents on sustainability and repair culture in a sociable setting.
  • Duxford Community Centre, Landbeach Village Hall and Wysing Arts Centre each received £15,000 to install solar panels and reduce their buildings’ grid electricity consumption.
  • Hope Against Poverty CIC, who operate a mobile foodbank, received £15,000 to replace their current diesel van with an electric vehicle.

Anyone interested in applying is encouraged to attend an online application support workshop on Wednesday 24 April from 7 to 8:30pm. Sign up via Eventbrite. Tickets available from April 2.

All applicants should consult the updated application guidance and criteria when making an application. Applications can be made via the eform on the South Cambridgeshire District Council website. The form goes live from April 2.

For questions or support, please email