large grants awarded

We are delighted to announce that we have awarded large grants this year to three fantastic community projects:

  • Sustainable Wantage for Equipping Children for Cycling Mobility
  • Thame Green Living for Thame Electric Vehicle Hire Club
  • Low Carbon Oxford North, Rose Hill & Iffley Low Carbon and Communities for Zero Carbon Oxford for Eco Homes Oxford.

Our Community Grant Fund offers financial support for community energy activities across Oxfordshire. All community members of the Low Carbon CIC can apply for a small or large grant that can be used to fund activities that contribute to the Low Carbon Hub’s aim: to cut Oxfordshire’s carbon footprint and contribute to the creation of a decentralised and locally owned renewable energy system.

Community members can apply for one of a small number of grants of up to £5,000 that are awarded each year, in a competitive process. The application process has two stages: an outline and a full application and community groups can apply for funding singly or in consortia with other community shareholders.

Sustainable Wantage – Equipping Children for Cycling Mobility

Sustainable Wantage will be working with five primary schools in Wantage and Grove to supply second-hand reconditioned bikes to selected Year 6 children identified by the schools. The aim is for all children to have access to the equipment and support needed to be able to take part in Bikeability training and provide an opportunity to build a lifetime habit of active travel.

To help with the project Windrush Bike Project have offered to train volunteers from the community and the Repair Café in basic bike repairs and safety checking. The community will be working as a team and together they aim to locate, fix, check and pass on 30 bikes to the schools. Cycling UK Wantage will also be lending their expertise to help parents and children gain confidence in using bikes to travel, as many of the children will be commuting to secondary school when they join Year 7. More children and families cycling to school will help to reduce school run journeys being made by car.

Sustainable Wantage also approached local bike shop, Ridgeway Cycles, for support and they are providing safety helmets at 20% discount.

We love this project as it benefits young people and builds on the active partnership with local schools that Sustainable Wantage created through their reconditioned laptop donation scheme during lockdown. The project will run from April to July/August 2022.

Thame Green Living – Thame Electric Vehicle Hire Club

We are delighted to support Thame Green Living in setting up an EV (electric vehicle) hire club in Thame with the aim of making EV’s more accessible in rural communities and helping to decarbonise the transport system. The project is built on a not-for-profit basis with membership fees and rentals covering the costs.

The EV car club is designed to decrease car ownership and encourage the shift to a low carbon transport system. The group carried out substantial consultation in the town to ascertain the need for an EV car club. They had a high response to the survey with most respondents eager to use the cars for short journeys as public transport is limited in the area. Many households expressed the hope that access to the car hire club would prove to be an alternative to owning a second car.

Most of the funding will be used to install a dual port charging point outside a local gym and a Low Carbon Hub small grant has funded the annual rent of a dedicated parking space for the EV car club from South Oxfordshire District Council. The group have a positive approach to exploring partnerships with local businesses and have successfully collaborated with a local car hire company, 3D Car Hire, who will supply the electric vehicles for the project and cover the insurance and electricity costs.

Thame Green Living are working in partnership with Zero Carbon Haddenham in Buckinghamshire to deliver the project in both towns and they plan to launch the EV car club at a special event, ‘Thame Drives Electric’ on 10 September 2022.

Survey for the EV car club

Low Carbon Oxford North, Rose Hill & Iffley Low Carbon and a consortium of groups led by Communities for Zero Carbon Oxford – Eco Homes Oxford (ECHOX )

We are excited to support Eco Homes Oxford, a collaborative project involving Low Carbon Oxford North, Rose Hill & Iffley Low Carbon and Communities for Zero Carbon Oxford, who are working in partnership to increase the impact of their initiative across the city and beyond. The aim is to encourage and support households of different income levels to undertake eco-renovation measures as a means of both cutting energy costs and addressing climate change.

Eco Homes Oxford will inspire Oxford’s residents to conserve domestic energy in practical ways by providing clear information on different aspects of retrofit such as insulation, heat pumps, ventilation and renewable energy generation. The project aims to address smaller affordable measures that can be taken straight away and also larger, more expensive, whole house retrofit projects. The project will culminate in a Green Open Homes Week and an Eco Renovation Fair in June 2022.

Green Open Homes Week, 22 – 29 June 2022 

Residents who have undertaken eco-renovation work will open their homes (in person or virtually) and explain the retrofit and energy efficiency measures they have installed. This could be anything from a full eco-renovation to smaller measures such as draught proofing or DIY double-glazing.

Eco-Renovation Fair, Sunday 26 June 2022, Oxford Town Hall 

This all-day event will feature talks from experts and contractors with advice on energy efficiency options and renewable energy generation. The fair will inform, inspire and provide enabling advice for homeowners, landlords and tenants who wish to reduce their fuel bills and make their homes more energy efficient.

To find out more about our grants or community groups, contact Cathy, Community Engagement Manager.