Well the Transition Team have been busy Beavering away with the help of some bid partners to put together an aspirational road plan for Social Enterprise within our Community of Market Harborough.
The Big Lottery fund called the “Communities Living Sustainably” is for upto £1 million of revenue funding for five years to get social Enterprises started to undertake Climate Change mitigation and adaptation activities. 30 communities will go through to a detailed bid stage and from there only 10 communities will be awarded the final funding.
The bid has been posted and all we have to do now is wait until the 6th of March to find out if we are through to the second round. Below are some of the key elements to our bid, enjoy and we welcome your comments.
10. What experience do you and your partners have of working with your local community, residents and tenants? (150 words/1,000 characters)
The RCC specialises in community consultation and support for community organisations in rural Leicestershire. It has a proven track record of project development and management and hosts several projects at its Leicester office. It also brings specialist experience of community engagement on sustainability issues, through running the Communities Cutting Carbon project, providing a hub of support for grassroots environmental groups (incorporating training and project development support) and recent work to train community energy champions.
All other partners have experience of working with our local community and have a vast network of contacts and resources for undertaking project work. The project will involve Harboroughs leading Housing Association, the County Council, the local Volunteer Bureau, the Water Supply company, local community grassroots environmental action group and local schools
12. What are the specific climate change issues for your community that you want to address? (150 words/1000 characters)
Market Harborough is a typical historic market town, de-industrialised and with many modern estates. There are vulnerable groups of over 65’s, Blind and partially sighted, Learning disabilities,Young families, Unemployed and low wage earners
The population is over 20,000 and set to increase by 19% by 2016, with several new estates planned.
The carbon footprint and air pollution is increasing with resources and services such as water, sewage, firewood, and allotments under pressure. Local rivers, reservoirs and canals are low, with over abstraction of water at low flows. There is risk of drought and storm run off flooding, an issue for farmers, gardeners and the Town Centre.
Extremes of temperatures and rising fuel costs will impact on the residents of the large stock of aging housing.
Food is mainly from supermarkets; food security is an issue and therefore susceptibility to rising food prices.
13. What mitigation and adaptation activities would you run to meet our outcomes for this initiative? (150 words/1000 characters per outcome).
ENERGY: ECO-HOUSE – Retrofit a rented property in partnership with Housing Association and local businesses: providing a demonstration, information and training centre, showing monetary, water and energy saving benefits to changes in lifestyle, including: Low Cost Solid Wall Insulation; Use of well-seasoned wood fuel; Use of Local Green Energy; Water saving features. Green Deal & Energy Champions – independent energy advice from trained volunteers.
WATER: Promote Green-Roofs for commercial properties and schools. Promote Domestic water saving and storage.
COMMUNITY: Produce Annual State Of The Town Report ; New Home Owner Booklet – Work with housing developers to produce an information booklet on living sustainably for householders.
FOOD: Locally produced food is sold at the Market; Growing and Sharing Project -collect and redistribute surplus locally grown fruit and vegetables; How to grow and store vegetables and fruit; Love Food Hate Waste Cookery Courses.
Outcome: Vulnerable people affected by the impacts of climate change are able to make greener choices to help improve their quality of life
ECO-HOUSE:House will provide basis for One Stop Shop for advice, information and training courses. The house and creation of a garden are a live demonstration of techniques and technologies in our key areas of Energy,Water and Food. The house is adapted for sustainable disability living and requirements of vulnerable groups. House shows the benefits to people of changes in lifestyle, monetary and carbon savings.
COMMUNITY:Survey the Community to identify vulnerable households and liase with Neighbourhood Watch; Sustainability Care Champions :Trained volunteers at one stop shop or road shows and home visits give independent advice and assistance in key areas of energy, water and food; Independent Green Deal advice. Finance – Provide help with financial advice and grant applications, working with local building society and credit union who offer low cost loans
Outcome: Communities maximise the use of their assets and resources to create new economic opportunities and live more sustainably
ESTABLISH NEW COMMUNITY ENTERPRISES: Local Green Energy ESCO; Retro-fitting CIC for Green Deal installations; CIC for community Green Energy projects; CIC for fitting low water use toilets and water saving technologies
PROMOTE NEW BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES: Agro-forestry CSA for seasoned wood production for wood stoves, planting of willow & hazel for coppicing; Local food CSA, and creation of a market garden and orchard; Re-invigorate local market; Commissioning of locally sourced foods for schools, hospitals and care homes; Local businesses to provide products and services required for energy saving, renewable energy installations, and water conservation in retrofits and new developments; Use of local businesses and services by initiating a Harborough Pound as local currency; Investigate commercial possibilities of the Canal.
TRAINING AND RE-SKILLING OPPORTUNITIES: Provide incentives to encourage local businesses to recruit and train staff in sustainable building and renovation skills; Develop training courses in rural skills, eg. woodland management, market gardening.
Outcome: Communities have a greater understanding of natural resources and more opportunities to use them efficiently
ECO-HOUSE: House and Garden is an information and training centre for energy,water and food, showing the benefits to people of changes in lifestyle, monetary and carbon savings.
CHAMPIONS: Trained volunteers go out and promote key elements of living sustainably – energy, water and food.
WATER : Public Education : Water and waste water in home & business; Local rivers, reservoirs and canal ; Wildlife conservation; House Builders are more aware of water conservation.
ENERGY: Public Education on energy saving and renewables; Schools Energy &Water Forum: building a schools network to understand and promote green initiatives in schools
FOOD: General Education –Low carbon agriculture and bio-diversity courses; Sustainable restaurant information shared; Growing your own fruit and vegetables; Love Food, Hate Waste cookery classes
COMMUNITY: Produce booklet on sustainable living; Annual state of town report; Elders share domestic and rural skills with the young.