Grant helps sports centre scoop environment award

BBC award winners celebrate another success

Solar panels on a building in Desford

Community groups across Leicestershire can now apply for a SHIRE environmental grant, worth up to £3,000, to support local projects which reduce carbon and household waste, as well as help to address climate change in the county.

One multi-award-winning community organisation which has already benefited from Leicestershire County Council’s grants scheme is Sport in Desford (SiD), who used the money as part of their quest to transform a derelict sports ground into a community recreation facility.

Over 10 years, SiD has worked hard to make ongoing environmental improvements, including installing 18,000 litres of rainwater storage and 176 solar panels, as well as a double electric charging vehicle station.

As a result, the centre is now able to attract more local residents by having a well-lit sports court and a well-heated and insulated building, making them a leader in local energy production.

And SiD was recently announced as the winner of the Power and Flexibility: Operational Award at The Association of Decentralised Energy Awards.

Sue Houghton, Chair at SiD said: "We are delighted to have won this award, which is a remarkable achievement for a small community sports organisation working towards the national green agenda.   

"This would not have been possible without the advice and financial support from the council through its SHIRE environment grants scheme. We can’t thank them enough for their help over the past 10 years.”


The SHIRE Environment Grant offers community groups and organisations the chance to create dynamic projects which generate local environmental change and help Leicestershire towards its goal of becoming a net zero county by 2045.  

The recent achievements of Sport in Desford are a prime example of how a local voluntary-led organisation can make considerable positive environmental benefits in the heart of the community.

Everyone can play their part and make a difference, and I would encourage groups to apply for a grant which will benefit their local area both now and in the future


The council is particularly keen to support projects that reduce household waste and those which have positive environmental benefits such as reduced carbon emissions, increased biodiversity, improved air quality and greater appreciation of green spaces.

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 October 29, 2021.

For further information and how to apply, visit the grants and funding section of the Leicestershire Communities website at or email

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

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