Thursday, 15 December 2011

New Low Carbon Community Fund - deadline 22 Dec

The deadlines are tight, the grants are substantial and the criteria are right in the sweet spot for Transition Initiatives.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change has just announced a new £10 million fund which is available to communities in England and Wales that are playing an active role in the development of a low carbon society. LEAF aims to help communities to accelerate their activity on energy and climate change.

Initial applications must be submitted online by 12 noon on 22-Dec-2011.
The follow up applications need to be submitted by 20-Jan-2012.

The grants are available to finance projects that increase understanding and uptake of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies and help to make energy supply secure and affordable for everyone in their community. The scheme aims to help communities to equip themselves to work with the private and public sector to deliver real projects through mechanisms such as the Green Deal, Feed in Tariffs and the Renewable Heat Incentive.

This fund is a short-term intervention to be completed by 31-Mar-2012 and is expected that average grant values will be around £50,000.

There is some useful guidance material here

Details of how to apply for LEAF are available here:

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

REPORT: Third Transition East Gathering 2011

On Saturday, 26th November 2011, 40 Transitioners from 13 Transition Towns in East Anglia met for our third regional meeting. It was hosted by Transition Stour Valley and held at Old Hall Community, East Bergholt in Suffolk. It was an inspiring day, that included a shared lunch, children's activites, a tour of Old Hall. Just hearing about each others’ experiences - good and bad - was valuable and illuminating.

Here are some of the highlights for me:

Transition v transition A few people reported that their initiatives had become inactive due to conflicts or burnout, but were then replaced by practical projects (ex. a community farm) which weren’t officially associated with the ‘Transition’ movement. The feeling was that these ‘transition’ projects were a natural extension of the movement and something to be proud of, not sorry about. There are lots of ‘transition’ projects around by people who don’t want to be part of an organised movement, but are very much on our wavelength.

Food projects galore!Most groups reported active food projects of various types: CSAs, food hubs, coops, market stalls, food sharing, festivals. Many met to discuss this in an Open Space session. Then in the closing session, we set up a small group that will help these food projects across our region to keep in contact with each other and promote synergy between them.

An East Anglian Transition currency? I was in the Open Space discussion of local currencies. It was difficult to choose the Open Space group I wanted, but I was so gripped that I stayed there throughout. We were actively discussing what we can do in case of major economic difficulties. The people from Cambridge are putting on a small conference on Alternatives to Economic Growth to look at this. The most exciting idea for me was a proposal for an East Anglian Transition currency that we could all use, tied to businesses and people who want an economy driven by wellbeing not money.

We will hold our next meeting next Summer. Several small groups will take forward the results of our discussions. Everyone thought it was an enjoyable and useful day. Gary Alexander