Blackpool's £5m funding bid to teach people how to be energy efficient

It is hoped a multi-million pound bid for government funding will help Blackpool residents cut down on their household energy use by adopting more sustainable lifestyles.

By Shelagh Parkinson
Friday, 29th July 2022, 9:48 am

Blackpool was allocated nearly £5.9m from the Shared Prosperity Fund in April and will submit its investment plans for the money this week.

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Nearly £2.9m is being sought for community schemes including an eco-coaching programme and two eco-hubs to demonstrate steps which can be taken to reduce traditional energy use.

The Solaris Centre will be updated

One of the hubs will be at the Solaris Centre in South Shore, which will be updated.

Both hubs will include renewable power generation, high thermal efficiency, nature rich public green space and carbon free heating systems.

They will also serve as information points for energy saving advice andinformation on green grants, and when the hubs are not in use renewable energy will be utilised in the local grid.

Incentives are also proposed for householders to invest in flood protection measures such as replacing hard standing areas with softer landscaping such as grass.

Leader of Blackpool Council Lynn Williams

Other schemes in the bid include investments in The Grundy Art Gallery, the Showtown Museum community programme and in new town centre public realm such as better sign posting for pedestrians.

A total of 13 capital and revenue projects have been agreed under the themes of people and skills, supporting local businesses and community and place.

Council leader Coun Lynn Williams said: “The Shared Prosperity Fund is a welcome boost but it has been challenging exercise to decide which projects to put forward for approval.

"We want to make the biggest impact possible with the funding that has been allocated to us.

“We have ensured that the investment plan ties in with our existing strategies so we can enhance projects and initiatives that are already under way.”

Within the bid the council is also seeking £812,000 for three employment projects, and £1.2m for business support.

The deadline for submissions is August 1 with approval expected in the autumn.

A £770,000 chunk of the money must also be allocated to a project to improve adult numeracy over the next three years.

Local authorities across the country have been offered support from the Shared Prosperity Fund, based on population.