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Lottery millions up for grabs for renewables

A new National Lottery backed £9 million grant scheme aimed at helping schools, village halls and community organisations install microgeneration and energy saving technologies has been launched.

The Community Sustainable Energy Programme (CSEP) is being funded by the Big Lottery Fund’s Changing Spaces Programme with BRE appointed as an award partner to oversee the distribution of grants.

A total of £8m is being made available for the installation of technology such as solar thermal systems, heat pumps and small scale wind turbines plus energy efficiency measures including loft and cavity wall insulation.

Another £1m is available in Project Development grants - on a first come first served basis - to fund feasibility studies to identify the most appropriate mix of measures for particular buildings.

Peter Wanless, Big Lottery Fund Chief Executive, said: “The CSEP scheme offers a great opportunity for community-based organisations - from schools to community centres - to come forward and apply for funding for energy saving equipment and technologies. Not only can they lessen their impact on the environment but reduce their energy bills to boot.”

Pete Bonfield, BRE Chief Executive, said: “This scheme will enable community based organisations that often have the enthusiasm, but not the means, to take action on climate change.

“The types of grass roots organisations that will be eligible to apply for grants have a vital role in both promoting and demonstrating the types of measures we all need to be installing on our buildings in order to lower carbon emissions and use energy more sustainably.”

Grants will require match funding. This may be available from other grant schemes such as Phase 2 of the Low Carbon Buildings Programme loans, public funding from local authorities or reserves.

The deadline for applications for the first round of applications is Friday May 16.