The grant from The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK, will see Todmorden Learning Centre and Community Hub test and refine new ideas for environmental training courses for young people.
The courses aim to kick-start a local green economy, involving local businesses, to help reduce carbon emissions and the impacts of climate change on the town and wider area.
Over 18 months, the project will use its funding to create an introductory climate change training course, as well as exploring how natural building, sustainable farming, renewable energy, and local enterprises focussing on repair and reuse, can be scaled up and mainstreamed to reach more people and encourage local climate action.
The specialist training course – thought to be one of the first of its kind in the country – will target school leavers and local people who are unemployed to offer an introduction to ‘green’ industries, such as building and farming using sustainable materials and methods, ultimately making them more accessible to more people and communities.
Julie Thorpe, Volunteer Centre Manager at Todmorden Learning Centre and Community Hub, said: “We are really excited that this funding from The National Lottery will give us the opportunity to offer a unique practical training course for young people from the upper Calder Valley. We know how concerned local young people are about the impacts of climate change but it’s not easy for them to know what to do to make a difference.
“We want to offer training in a range of skills which will lead to jobs in future green industries, helping to reduce carbon emissions, and mitigate the impacts of climate change such as the flooding which the valley has repeatedly suffered.
“It’s great to be a part of the Climate Action Fund, as we will be able to work with other projects around the country to share knowledge, ideas and learning.”
Todmorden is part of the first set of projects, sharing over £19.5 million, to be announced as part of the National Lottery-funded Climate Action Fund; a ten-year £100 million fund that will reduce the carbon footprint of communities demonstrating what is possible when people take the lead in tackling climate change.
Nick Gardner, Head of Climate Action at The National Lottery Community Fund, said: “Thanks to National Lottery players, communities across Todmorden will be able to demonstrate what is possible when people take the lead in tackling climate change. From 25 years of funding environmental projects across the UK, we know that local community action can deliver solutions to reduce environmental impact that also offer additional benefits for people to reap.
“This year we have been reminded that communities are best placed to understand their places and spaces, and so often play a vital role in responding in a crisis. This funding will directly support people to respond to the climate emergency in their local communities.”
The Climate Action Fund is part of The National Lottery Community Fund’s Environment Strategy, which has seen significant National Lottery investment through community-led projects that are focussed on activities to not only improve the environment, but use it to enhance the lives of people and communities. Since April 2013, the Fund has awarded more than £340 million to environmental projects, through almost 5,000 grants.