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Funding Support for Climate Change and Biodiversity Community Groups

Local community groups are set to benefit from a change to £100,000 of allocated funding from South Hams District Council to help in projects, which tackle Climate Change and improve Biodiversity, if proposals are agreed.

Forest showing green environment

A report will be discussed by Executive on Thursday 2 December.

As part of its Climate Change and Biodiversity Emergency, the Council agreed proposals for expenditure of the Climate Change and Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan reserve on 17 December 2020. A funding model for applications was developed and launched, but since its introduction, a need has grown for a more direct way for groups to apply.

To meet this new need, the Council have proposed the funding model is amended to split the £200,000 dedicated to Crowdfunder into two parts. This will set aside £100,000 for a two-phase grant scheme of £50,000 to fund projects that carry out climate change and biodiversity activities. These tasks need to relate to the Council's Climate Change and Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan.

Split into two parts, the scheme first looks for a wide range of suitable projects that include good community engagement that share information with residents across the District to spread awareness of key issues. Phase two is yet to be agreed, but information from Phase one will help decide how Phase two is created.

The proposed funding change, if agreed, will allow groups to apply and be financially supported in a way that was not possible before. Allowing the Council to continue to provide widespread support to community groups through this avenue and the existing Crowdfunder platform.

Cllr Tom Holway, South Hams District Council's Lead Member for Climate Change and Biodiversity, said: "This is an excellent development in the funding process that will help groups apply quickly and easily for funding in a way that they couldn't previously.

"As things have developed since we first agreed the reserves last December, this new need has come for a change in the way the funding has been processed. Splitting the money into the new project grant scheme and the existing Crowdfunder funding will really help groups apply directly for what they want.

"Together with the groups we can reach the targets we need to get the District to net zero by 2050, which is exactly where we all want to get to. It's a win-win for all of us."

Groups can apply for match funding through the South Hams Climate Action and Biodiversity fund through Crowdfunder. Full information, including eligibility and guidance can be found on the Council's Crowdfunder page.

If proposals are agreed, you can find out how to apply for the new grants along with the  Council's commitment to the Climate Change and Biodiversity Emergency, by visiting the dedicated website.

To discover the latest climate change and biodiversity news and opportunities, please sign up for the Council's regular newsletter.

Issued 24 November 2021

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