Funding to help fight climate change in the South Hams

New projects are making a profound impact in the fight against climate in South Devon, thanks to tens of thousands of pounds' worth of funding from South Hams District Council.

In 2022, the Council has launched two key funds available to the district to support projects and infrastructure that will help in the South Hams' fight against climate change.

Back in February the Council launched a £50,000 Climate Engagement Fund to support community engagement and behavioural change projects. That was followed in May with the launch of the £100,000 Climate Infrastructure Fund. This second fund supports and boosts investment in the development of infrastructure related projects to help the district reduce its carbon emissions.

Successful organisations have now been informed of their success and projects receiving this key funding are moving forward.

Cllr Judy Pearce, Leader of South Hams District Council, said: "As a Council we're delighted to be able to deliver these funds. The fact that we are supporting key infrastructure projects and projects designed to change behaviours should have great long-term benefits for the environment and the South Hams community.

"Everyone needs to work together to tackle climate change and engaging with community groups and organisations is a great way to make that happen. The sort of projects that this fund can support will all play a profound part in making the South Hams reduce its carbon footprint."

Due to the strength of applications, the Council allocated £55,285 to support a broader range of Climate Engagement Fund applications while keeping as close to the £50,000 allocation as possible.

Among the main beneficiaries is Sustainable South Hams, who have received £22,500 from the fund. The money will support the continuation of the SSH and support their flagship projects going into 2024. SSH is a growing network of volunteers, parish councils, experts and residents working together to fight climate change. A grant of £7,500 to Blue Environment will be used to support, promote and accelerate the use of clean technologies for the marine leisure and recreation industry.

The biggest beneficiary from the Climate Infrastructure Fund is a scheme to create a bike and e-bike network by CoBikes. The scheme will trial a network of bike and e-bike stations in Dartmouth and Totnes.

Helen Scholes, Marketing and Partnerships Manager for Co Bikes, said: "We are really excited to be trialling an e-bike network in Totnes and Dartmouth.

"Because they are electric, our bikes can easily tackle hills and shorten journey times whilst helping people avoid getting tired or sweaty, giving them the confidence to make journeys by bike they may not have previously considered.

"E-bikes also reduce car journeys - in a recent survey, 54% of respondents said they used our bikes to make trips that would have otherwise been done by car." 

Other schemes to benefit include Share Shed - A Library of Things. They have received £19,600 of funding to expand its weekly mobile service to Ivybridge and Kingsbridge. The Share Shed already serves South Brent, Totnes, Ashburton, Buckfastleigh and Dartington and has over 350 useful items for people to borrow, reducing pollution and waste.