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City council awarded around £1.5m to support net zero target

Published on Friday, 12th February 2021

Norwich City Council has successfully bid for nearly £1.5m of additional government funding to support its award-winning carbon reduction programme.

The new resource will further develop the council’s successful approach to reducing its carbon emissions, which have already fallen by 62.1% since a 2007 baseline. Having declared a climate emergency in 2019, the council aims to be operationally carbon neutral by 2030, with plans for the city to follow suit by 2050 or sooner.

Councillor Kevin Maguire, cabinet member for safe and sustainable city environment at Norwich City Council, said: “I am pleased that the city council has successfully bid for this significant additional funding as we continue to deliver against our ambitious, award winning plans to reduce our carbon emissions to zero and lead a green recovery from Covid.

“Keeping Norwich a liveable city for future generations is a key theme of our Norwich 2040 City Vision, and this funding will allow us to progress ambitious projects to make that expectation a reality.”

The council has been awarded £740,000 through the government decarbonisation funding scheme, which will be used to deliver renewable heating at City Hall, three major LED lighting retrofitting programmes, and a large solar system at the council’s new environmental services depot at Hurricane Way. The work on City Hall is especially historic, given the technical challenges presented by the building’s grade 2 listed status.

The council has also allocated £88,000 to LED lighting retrofitting for St Giles car park and Blackfriars Hall, as well as over £36,000 on more energy efficient servers. A number of further projects will be developed and delivered in the next financial year, all funded through eco-financier Salix.

In addition to its work in cutting operational emissions, the council has also been successful in applying for a £715,000 share of the £500m Green Homes Grant scheme, which will see 50 homes receive solid wall insulation/cladding, and a further 30 receive solar PV.

This project is expected to save over 30,000 tonnes of carbon due to improved energy efficiency of properties. The grant was awarded earlier this month, and work is already progressing at pace to deliver the scheme before the September 2021 deadline.  The council and Broadland Housing Association have also submitted a joint bid for £356,410, to help environmentally retrofit some of the least energy-efficient homes in the city.

Work is also still progressing with UK Power Networks to develop opportunities for on-street electrical charging points, to add the existing supply in the city including eight provided by the council. This scheme, called Charge Collective, aims to generate cut-price opportunities to instal these points, predominantly in typically terraced areas without much off-road parking. The city council is responsible for highlighting areas with likely high take-up of this initiative, with potential for up to 45 points to be installed with appropriate backing.

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