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CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

Environment grants available for community groups

Photo of a village pond
Cotesbach Village Pond following improvements funded by the Shire Environment Grant

Community groups and organisations have just three weeks left to apply for the latest round of SHIRE Environment Grants of up to £3,000.

The scheme, run by Leicestershire County Council, aims to help new projects that minimise household waste, reduce carbon emissions or improve biodiversity.

The SHIRE grants project is already making a difference with several projects benefitting from the previous round of grant aid.

South Kilworth Parish Council ran one of the projects which benefited. Their bird box scheme saw a total of 94 RSPB birdboxes placed around private houses, the church and the school in time for the 2021 breeding season.  The boxes were a mix of designs for Blue Tits, Great Tits, Sparrows, Nuthatch, Robin, Wrens, Pied Wagtails, Spotted Flycatchers and Swifts. 

Bob Morley of South Kilworth Parish Council said: “In June last year I became aware of the SHIRE Environment Grant scheme run by Leicestershire County Council and after we applied, we were delighted to hear from the Environment Team that they would support a project to increase the number of nesting sites for birds in the parish. The parish council is committed to conserve and enhance the natural environment of the village, including protecting our wildlife, and this grant helps towards those aims.”

The types of projects that could benefit from funding include initiatives to reduce household waste or greenhouse gas emissions within communities, the development of local green spaces or habitats which increase biodiversity, or increase knowledge around these issues.

Other projects which have benefited from the fund include Cotesbach Parish Council's improvements to their village pond to improve biodiversity, Melton's 103 The Eye who are running a radio recycling and repair scheme and the Loughborough Wellbeing Centre who are running textile reuse and upcycling sessions.

The SHIRE Environment Grant helps community groups and organisations to make local efforts toward environmental change and, ultimately, these efforts can help towards achieving the aim of Leicestershire becoming a net zero county by 2045.

During the last year, many of us have spent more time exploring and appreciating nature close to home, and in some cases perhaps getting more involved in the local community as a result. We’d really like to build on these positive changes and hope that more groups around the county will come forward and apply for funding for local projects that will have environmental benefits for their area.

To be eligible for the grant, projects must be located in Leicestershire (not including Leicester or Rutland).  A simplified application process is also available for smaller grants of up to £300. The application deadline is June 25, 2021.

For further information and how to apply, visit: www.leicestershirecommunities.org.uk/grants/environment-grant.html or email environmentgrant@leics.gov.uk

Applications can also be made by calling the SHIRE Environment Grants Team on 0116 305 7005

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