Council-led green consortium secures funding

The £2.56m will be used to bolster plans to reach net zero

Solar panels on roof

A partnership aiming to tackle barriers to climate action across Leicestershire has been awarded £2.56m.

Innovate UK, the UK's innovation agency has announced it is giving the money to the Leicestershire CAN (Collaboration to Accelerate Net Zero) project, led by Leicestershire County Council, to bolster plans to reach net zero.

It will be used to explore how Leicestershire stakeholders can collaborate and accelerate climate action, develop a decarbonisation pathway plan for the whole county, identify the best ways for communities to get to net zero and launch a new online platform to share information and tools.

Leicestershire CAN will also work to develop community energy projects, aiming to have a community energy organisation in every district.

Leicestershire was selected as one of seven local authorities around the UK to receive a share of £24.4 million Pathfinder Places phase 2 funding, and was the only county council among the recipients.

It is a huge achievement for us to secure this funding, which will allow us to take a great stride forward in our ambition for a net zero county by 2045, and to ensure our communities are an integral part of this process.

Leicestershire CAN will strengthen the county’s ability to meet net zero commitments by working together with community organisations and businesses across the county, and this funding will allow all partners to work together and remove the barriers to delivery of our net zero aims.

Mike Biddle, Executive Director for Net Zero at Innovate UK, said: “We know that many local authorities find it hard to plan and deliver decarbonisation of heat, power and transport locally. Often technology is available, but there are big gaps in capability, resource and evidence of what works best in reality. That’s why we have issued this package of targeted support to help places around the UK tackle the challenges, prove what can be done, share experiences and speed up with journey to net zero.”

The latest funding follows on from an earlier grant of £63,000 which was awarded to the county in the first phase of the project, which was used to develop detailed plans on the best way to work together to deliver the net zero target and eliminate barriers to making net zero a reality by 2045.

Leicestershire CAN is a collaboration led by the county council working together with the Universities Partnership, National Grid, Energy Systems Catapult and Green Fox Community Energy.

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