Climate Infrastructure Fund - Closes 9th June 2022

South Hams District Council is launching an expression of interest round for a fund to support and boost investment in the development of infrastructure related projects to help the district reduce its carbon emissions.

What do we mean by Infrastructure?

In order for the district, county, and nation to become net-zero a degree of behaviour change is critical. The Climate Change Committee reports in its 2020 report ‘Local Authorities and the Sixth Carbon Budget’ that nearly 60% of the changes in the pathway to the sixth carbon budget rely on societal or behavioural changes and notes that local authorities have a role with the public and puts us at the heart of developing and replicating local solutions. Options for kickstarting behaviour changes are often limited by the infrastructure available, such as safe and convenient alternative ways of travelling, relying on continuing to buy expensive products which can often break with little opportunities to have them repaired, or even wishing to buy locally but not having low carbon and reliable delivery options, such as through cargo bikes and last-mile type delivery options

Many people are willing to make changes and know it is the right thing to do, but they must overcome a number of internal and external barriers which are often hardwired into habits or alternatives being expensive or unreliable. Approaches to addressing climate change must work past these barriers and we are keen to help projects that will help realise this.

Infrastructure is typically something that supports or improves the ongoing functions of households, businesses and services. For this fund, we are looking to fund projects that add to or improve a community function to help people transition to more sustainable ways of living, below are some examples which are by no means exhaustive:

  • increasing the availability of non-fossil fuel transport alternatives (Car Clubs, Bike hire, Demand Response Transport/peer to peer or volunteer-based transport solutions),

  • making sharing and borrowing of items more widely available

Projects will need to produce measurable outputs, for example, increased uptake in a low carbon/sustainable service, surveys demonstrating a change in behaviour in travel, the delivery of new infrastructure or help to enable or facilitate new infrastructure, producing feasibility studies, market assessments, proof of concept, prototyping/testing (with results). Projects with a specific deliverable, especially those delivering new infrastructure will be looked upon more favourably.

What funding is available?

Between £1000 and £25,000 can be requested from the Climate Infrastructure Fund. Projects with match funding or that lever in additional funds will be looked upon favourably, the total amount available for this fund is £100,000, and as such we will only be selecting a few projects. All funds must be spent before June 2023 with a report on outcomes expected by July 2023. Recognising the difficulty and time it takes to deliver larger projects, if a particular component of the project, such as seeking landowner approval, will take more time to be realised, this can be discussed if you are successful and timescales and staging of the release of funds can be discussed and agreed at that time.

How to apply and the process

  1. Firstly, you’ll need to make sure you satisfy the criteria which can be found below.

  2. Next, you’ll need to complete this expression of interest application - Expression of Interest Form

  3. Send your application and any other relevant material to climatechange@swdevon.gov.uk

  4. The expression of interest window closes on Thursday 9th June 2022

  5. We will then begin the selection period, we’ll try to give you a decision within a maximum of 4 weeks from the closing date.

  6. If you are selected we may invite you to submit a more detailed application, this will mostly involve details surrounding project timelines, costing breakdown, key delivery dates of any events or programmes and reporting outcomes and metrics. If the Expression of interest application is detailed enough we may not need to seek further information (apart from payment details and a signed fund agreement) and we will inform you of this once the decision-making process is complete

  7. Upon receipt of the detailed application that meets our requirements, we will release the funds in accordance with the amounts applied for and the terms. Depending on the nature and scale of the project, the funds may be released in stages.

Fund Criteria

You can apply if you are a:

  • constituted group or club

  • voluntary or community organisation

  • registered charity

  • charitable incorporated organisation (CIO/SCIO)

  • community interest company (CIC)

  • not-for-profit company

  • school, college, university (as long as your project benefits and involves the wider local communities)

  • statutory body (including town, parish and community council)

  • Community benefit society.

(you will need to provide proof with your application form)

We cannot accept applications from:

  • individuals

  • organisations that can pay profits to directors, shareholders or members

  • organisations based outside the UK

  • one individual or organisation applying on behalf of another.

 

We can fund:

  • producing feasibility studies, market assessments, proof of concept, prototyping/testing

  • community-led research

  • contributions to community-owned renewables

  • construction/installation of fixed measures (such as bike racks, community-owned public charging, cycle routes, bike & Car clubs)

  • events and activity costs

  • equipment and materials

  • staff costs (proportionate to the funded activity and evidenced as to how the staff costs will facilitate the project delivery and should not form more than 25% of the overall ask from the fund)

  • transport costs related to your project

  • utilities or running costs related to your project (not ongoing costs, however)

  • volunteer expenses (proportionate to the funded activity and evidence as to how the staff costs will facilitate the project delivery)

  • costs associated with delivering your project bilingually, like translation costs

  • We can fund capital costs as part of a wider project

 

We cannot fund:

  • items or projects which will only benefit an individual or family or one business, rather than the wider community 

  • proposals solely related to green infrastructure (such as rewilding and tree planting)

  • schemes which will use the funding to provide grant funding to another organisation (unless your group is financially hosted by another organisation and it will need to hold funds for you)

  • political activities or lobbying activity

  • VAT you can reclaim

  • statutory activities

  • costs that have already been incurred 

  • applications solely to fund staff time

  • activities that improve the educational attainment of an individual - personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education, environment, science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), English

  • Projects that take place outside of the South Hams

 

Subsidy Control Compliance

 

Grants from the Climate Engagement Fund are awarded through the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance (SAFA). This is part of the UK’s new Subsidy Control regime which replaces the EU State Aid rules. Under the new rules, you are allowed to receive up to £335,000 (subject to exchange rates) from public funds over any period of 3 years. It includes any subsidy previously received as de minimis aid or as Small Amounts of Financial Assistance under the EU-UK Trade and Co-operation Agreement (TCA) from any subsidy awarding body.

It is your organisation’s responsibility to check that it is eligible prior to the submission of an Expression of Interest. If you have any doubt as to your position you must seek appropriate advice before submitting this form. Information regarding compliance with Subsidy Control regulations will be requested at the full application stage.