Applications for the COP26 Legacy Grant were open to SMEs, Community Groups, Charities, Schools and Colleges, Town and Parish Councils, and Sole Traders. Grants of between £2,000 and £10,000 were available to support organisations across the Hub area to undertake carbon reduction activities. The total funding available was £72,000.
The North East and Yorkshire Net Zero Hub wanted to support projects that represented the key values and themes of COP26, so they chose to tailor their criteria to encourage projects which linked to the COP26 themes of Energy, Youth and Public Empowerment, and Science and Innovation. The Hub believed that projects which represented these themes would highlight action at an environmental, social, and economic level and result in a broad range of interesting proposals.
The North East and Yorkshire Net Zero Hub received a total of 113 applications for the COP26 Legacy Grant totaling £806,131.82 – far more than anticipated. Of these 113 applications they were able to support 11 successful projects ranging from workplace retrofit projects and public engagement programmes, to school-based composting schemes and even an innovative project using smart LED lighting to grow salad plants. The overall grant funding for these 11 projects totaled £75,350, with a breakdown across the Hub geography as follows:
One project, based on Holy Island and managed by Pilgrims Coffee Ltd, was awarded £9,080 for their revolutionary projects in which they will use coffee grounds to create renewable fuel blocks that will be distributed throughout the island and used for heating. Another futuristic project was pitched by World Wide Local Salads in Hull, who have been awarded £6,000 to complete a project in which a series of LED lights are used to mimic the movement and light intensity of the sun and moon to allow highly efficient growing of salad leaves. Meanwhile, AgriSound Ltd, based in York and awarded £9,800 of the COP26 Legacy Fund, are also highlighting their forward thinking with their innovative project in which they are installing ‘Polly’ devices that listen to pollinator insect activity in the York and North Yorkshire area and use the data to identify intervention requirements.
Other successful applicants are taking a more ‘fabric first’ approach, including Johnson Partners Ltd in the Tees Valley who have successfully obtained £6,094 to make energy efficiency improvements to their office space, and The Lubber Fiend in Newcastle who have secured £7,000 to help improve the efficiency of their music venue.
In Sheffield, River Stewardship Company are keen to reduce their carbon emissions and increase their green fleet with proposed installation of their own EV charge points on site, using £5,600 of funding from the North East and Yorkshire Net Zero Hub.
Two of the 11 successful projects have a strong focus on reducing the amount of waste that is sent to landfill. Vanshades, based in Barnsley, have secured £8,321 of funding to purchase equipment which will allow them to bail and recycle their waste carboard, while Dark Woods Coffee Garden will be using £8,755 of the available funding to manage a conscious composting project, based in West Yorkshire, encouraging people to return their coffee packaging to be composted.
There are then 3 successful projects which focus on the Youth and Public Empowerment theme of COP26, with both Halifax Academy, in West Yorkshire, and Fatfield Academy, in the North East, securing £7,500 and £2,000 respectively to deliver school based projects highlighting the benefits of composting, rain water collection, sustainable food growth and efficient food preparation. Rethink Food Academy are also creating a community engagement programme, hosted in a West Yorkshire shopping centre, aiming to educate the public on food waste, water footprints, and food miles.