Carbon grant

Northumberland County Council has been given a £248,000 grant by the Department of Energy and Climate Change to spend on initiatives to cut carbon output.

The county is one of nine pilots that have been selected to represent 30 local authority areas across the UK to develop work in connection with carbon reduction.

The £248,000 will go towards two areas of work – delivering community leadership on climate change and implanting carbon reduction within protected historic and natural environments.

The community leadership project will explore the role that local government can play in enabling communities to take action on carbon reduction as well as how to improve the relationship between local communities and local government.

As part of this the council plans to buy thermal imaging cameras and energy monitors that can be loaned out to communities to help them identify where changes are needed.

The second project will explore the role that local government and other bodies can play in implementing carbon reduction measures in protected historic and natural environments.

Exploring the challenges of embedding carbon technologies in highly protected historic buildings and landscape and sharing best practice on low carbon land and estate management will form part of this.

The aim of the pilot in Northumberland is for the council and its partner agencies to develop and try out new ways of working that are not only effective here but can be replicated in other council areas across the country.

Coun Roger Styring said: “This money will allow us to take the lead on developing innovative working practices that will not only benefit Northumberland but other council areas in the UK.

“Working effectively with our communities and partner agencies is key to reducing carbon emissions and this work will help us to understand how to improve on and enhance this.”

Climate change minister Greg Barker said: “Local councils can play a vital role in cutting carbon because they have unrivalled local knowledge, experience and influence.

“We want to tap in to this, so we have awarded just over £2 million to be shared between 30 pioneering councils to work with individuals, businesses and communities to find the best and most effective ways to reduce emissions and stimulate their local economy.

“The results of the project will decide what works best so other councils across the country can benefit and learn.”