Good news for Towards Zero Carbon Bute

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TOWARDS ZERO CARBON BUTE has been awarded £158,788 from the Climate Challenge Fund (CCF) for their ‘Overcoming Barriers’ project to reduce carbon emissions by encouraging behaviour change on short journeys and actively supporting energy saving in Bute’s built heritage.

The CCF helps communities across Scotland to reduce their carbon footprint, supporting a low carbon lifestyle, and contributing to Scotland reaching its ambitious climate change target of reducing carbon emissions by 80 per cent by 2050.

This announcement is the second to be made under the 2012-15 CCF scheme. Since its launch in 2008, the CCF has made 525 individual awards across 383 communities in Scotland.

Speaking about the award from CCF, Project Manager Reeni Kennedy-Boyle told The Buteman: “It’s absolutely brilliant – it secures projects from March 2012 and will provide for 1.9 equivalent full time jobs and means we can continue skills development through volunteering opportunities. Within the project itself, 50 per cent of the money will go tackle fuel poverty, particularly within Rothesay’s tenement buildings and at Port Bannatyne. The project will be looking at thermal imagery and ways in which people can drive down their fuel costs. We’ll still be giving general advice, but are keen to hear to from people concerned with fuel poverty.

“The other half is to do with active travel. This came out of Be A Zero Hero [a project encouraging local children to cycle or walk to school], but also through work done by the Rothesay Place-Making study – a feasibility study by Halcro, the Rothesay Active Travel, and numerous other studies. There are issues with safe routes, congestion etc, so we’re hoping to address some of these issues, but also, we want to have a bit of fun with it. We’re planning on holding events and activities allowing people to get out together as a family.”

Minister for Environment and Climate Change Stewart Stevenson said: ““Climate change is one of the most serious threats we face as a global community and Scotland is leading the way in tackling the problem.

“CCF has captured the imagination of our communities, producing many innovative ideas and projects to change behaviours and drive down emissions. And that commitment from local communities – to tackle climate change from the grass-roots up - is essential if we are to succeed in delivering Scotland’s world leading and ambitious climate change targets.

The second piece of good news for the local group was that it has been announced as one of seven groups across the UK to share £200,000 of enterprise development, mentoring and technical advice, following a competition run by The Co-operative which aims to dramatically increase community owned renewable energy generation.

Reeni Kennedy-Boyle, Project Manager for Fyne Futures – Towards Zero Carbon Bute, said: “We are absolutely delighted. The expertise and support will make a significant difference to our aims of exploring and developing community-owned energy projects on the island - giving people a say in the generation of energy locally while delivering wider social and environmental benefits.

“We believe that renewable energy and carbon reduction programmes are great news for communities and are keen to encourage the widest possible participation.”

Car Bute has also just received news of support in the way of funding by LEADER (Links Between Activities Developing the Rural Economy), meaning that Caroline Speirs’ position as Project Worker has now been secured for a year, and will enable the continued provision of a third car.