UK Community Renewal Fund to support net zero action

Net zero and environmental objectives are among the areas considered as investment priorities in the government’s Community Renewal Fund.

On 16 March, it outlined how it will be providing £220mn funding through the fund, supporting people and communities across the UK to pilot innovative programmes and approaches to addressing local challenges and needs, including net zero. It also will seek to prepare them for the launch of the Shared Prosperity Fund – set for launch in 2022, worth up to £1.5bn on average each year – which is being brought in to match investment from EU Structural Funds in light of the UK’s exit from the European Union.

It has identified 100 priority places across Britain, including North Norfolk, Norwich, Great Yarmouth, King’s Lynn and West Norfolk. A lead authority in these areas will be tasked with inviting proposals from local applicants, leading to a shortlist of projects worth a maximum of £3mn per place being submitted to government.

Potential projects could include those supporting decarbonisation measures, such as encouraging local businesses and organisations to reduce greenhouse gases through investing in new technologies or energy efficiency measures. Feasibility studies for delivering net zero and local energy projects are also of interest, such as electric vehicle charging points and coastal investment projects, or studies that assess scheduling considerations, legal, economic and technical factors for projects supporting local decarbonisation and collaborative local solutions, namely clean energy projects.