'Green' communities get cash windfall

TWO Suffolk communities are celebrating after winning major grants in a regional campaign aimed at encouraging more people to go “green”.

David Green

TWO Suffolk communities are celebrating after winning major grants in a regional campaign aimed at encouraging more people to go “green”.

Sproughton, near Ipswich, has been awarded £112,000 to breathe new, environmentally friendly life into a historic tithe barn and make it the flagship of its carbon reduction project.

Supporters of the scheme, called Green Sproughton, propose to refurbish the historic building by taking off the conventional wooden exterior, applying solid insulation and then putting it back on.

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The barn will act as a carbon reduction and environmental resource centre and be marketed as a “green” venue.

Meanwhile Wenhaston, near Southwold, has won a £70,000 award to install electricity generating solar panels and a biomass system using wood pellets to replace a 20 year old boiler at their village hall.

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Over the past two years, residents of the village have organised a host of carbon cutting measures including bulk buying deals for solar hot water panels and a community insulation day.

They are among six communities in the east of England to win funding from the East of England Development Agency's (EEDA's) Cut Your Carbon competition to enable them to reduce their emissions of carbon dioxide, the main gas blamed for global warming.

Cut Your Carbon has £2.5million available over three years to help communities in the east of England reduce their carbon “footprints” by innovative and inspiring methods.

All communities short-listed in the first round of awards had to “pitch” their proposals to a judging panel.

As well as the carbon cutting potential of the projects, supporters had to demonstrate that their communities were pressing ahead with carbon cutting measures.

Richard Ellis, chair of EEDA, said: “The Cut Your Carbon judging day was really inspiring for all the judges and it is great to see that so many people are coming together around this issue and taking effective action.

“Many of the communities shortlisted were already setting the pace in community carbon reduction and their drive and enthusiasm really brought their projects to life.”

Anyone interested in the Cut Your Carbon competition should log on to www.cutyourcarbon.org.uk .

The website allows individuals to find and join a community near them enabling them to work together to cut more carbon emissions from their daily lives.

See next Monday's EADT environment pages for details of all the Suffolk and Essex projects which made it onto the Cut Your Carbon shortlist.

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