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St Albans City and District Council wins £300,000 grant for project to improve the environment

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A groundbreaking project to tackle climate change in St Albans District has won a £300,000 grant from Innovate UK to fund its work.

St Albans Greener Together is an initiative led by St Albans City and District Council with support from the University of Hertfordshire.

The project will empower local residents and businesses to come together to create a more sustainable future.

It will include communication, education and behaviour change campaigns as well as a community fund to support local initiatives aimed at improving energy efficiency and sustainable travel.

Among other plans are help with creating the Green House, an eco-hub which could provide a space for learning as well as a base for community activities.

The grant from Innovate UK’s Fast Followers fund will also pay for two people to staff and lead the project on a full-time basis.

Innovate UK is a Government agency that provides support for organisations that provide important new services and products.

Fast Followers is part of its Net Zero Living Programme which is designed to help places and businesses accelerate the transition to net zero carbon emissions.

The Council was one of 21 local authorities which received a Fast Followers grant for an innovation with the aim of achieving net zero.

The awards were announced on Wednesday 24 May at Innovation Zero, the International Clean Tech Congress at Olympia London.

Mike Biddle, Executive Director, Net Zero, Innovate UK, said:

Innovate UK’s Net Zero Living Programme aims to transform our towns, cities, and communities through removing the barriers to adoption and creating demand for new net zero technologies.

This cohort of Fast Followers winners demonstrate innovative ideas that are designed at grass roots level specifically to overcome their particular barriers and sometimes unique challenges.

Dale Phillipson, the Council’s Strategic Director for Strategy, Policy and Transformation, said:

We are delighted to have been one of just 21 local authorities to receive this funding.

It recognises what a powerful force for change local people can be when they are supported by projects like St Albans Greener Together. As a Council, we are committed to cutting emissions from energy and transport to net zero across the District by 2030 and this project will play a vital role in achieving that ambition.

We want to win the support of people who have previously shown little interest in environmental topics by exploring the issues that matter to them most such as saving money, improving health, reducing traffic congestion.

We will use the existing networks of individuals who are already doing great work and wish to do more. This includes our volunteer climate champions who are trained to provide advice and workshops to stimulate discussion around climate change.

Our vision for St Albans Greener Together is to get everyone involved in climate issues as well as provide support for local net zero projects that are likely to have impact.

Shaun Borstrock, the Associate Dean, Business, Innovation and Projects, School of Creative Arts, University of Hertfordshire, said:

We are very excited to be part of this important project and look forward to working with the community to make a difference.

The project is due to start in early 2024 after preparatory work is undertaken.

Contact for the media: John McJannet, Principal Communications Officer,  01727-819533,