Communities in Shetland are to benefit from £150,000 in grants under the latest round of funding from the Climate Challenge Fund (CCF) which promotes lower carbon dioxide emissions.
Among the successful applicants for CCF funding is the Unst Partnership, which will receive £18,820 to put towards purchasing six polytunnels and equipment for the community allotment scheme.
The polytunnels are to be based at Baltasound primary school, although they will be for all of the community to use to grow their own fresh fruit and vegetables. They will reduce carbon outputs in the community by an estimated 3.16 tonnes.
While their construction is subject to planning permission, it is hoped they will be up and running this year. Local organic vegetable growing company Urge (Unst Regeneration Growers Enterprise Ltd) is also on hand to advise people on what to grow and how.
Gordon Thomson of the Unst Partnership explained: “It’s really to encourage people who may not have the space outside their house to grow their own veg.” He also said the funding was received thanks to the efforts of Community Powerdown officer Mike Smith.
The Sandwick Community Allotment Scheme will also receive £57,101 to put towards its allotment project, which will hopefully reduce carbon outputs by around 80 tonnes.
And Aith Community District Heating Scheme is to receive £32,450, which it is hoped will cut carbon emissions by a 53.28 tonnes.
Finally, Northmavine Community Development Company was awarded £41,821 to build 12 community polytunnels. It is hoped this will cut the community’s emissions by 30 tonnes.
A total of 232 communities across Scotland have received a share of the £27.4 million CCF grants to help reduce their carbon footprint. This week’s awards helped 90 new projects at a total cost of £5.5 million.
Over the last three years, CCF has invested to save an estimated 691,028 tonnes of carbon, the equivalent of 225,000 cars off Scotland’s roads or filling Murrayfield Stadium 345 times.
Making the announcement, environment secretary Richard Lochhead said: “The Climate Challenge Fund (CCF) has captured the imagination of communities all over Scotland and demonstrated nationwide commitment to reduce carbon footprint.
“Since CCF launched it has attracted huge interest and I am very encouraged by the high level and quality of applications. We have tapped into communities’ desire to do more to help the environment and I look forward to seeing what will be achieved long-term through this exceptional fund.
Chairman of the CCF grants panel Simon Pepper said: “It has been astonishing, exciting and inspiring to see the number and diversity of project applications coming from every sector and size of community to tackle climate change from every conceivable angle. From gardens to back greens, from Unst to Stranraer, from cycling to schools, Scotland is alive with ideas to catch the imagination and make a practical difference.”