Kingston Council fund nine local projects to help tackle climate change

Kingston Council has funded nine local projects, including Minima Yacht Club and The Community Brain, as part of its Voluntary, Community & Social Enterprise (VCSE) Green Grant programme.

Minima Yacht Club, which has been awarded a grant of £10,000, will be installing “a number of energy efficiency and renewable energy generation measures”.

The Environment Champion for Minima Yacht Club, Jon Fray said: “As Kingston’s kayaking and sailing club since 1889, we are excited and very happy to have been awarded a Green Grant.

“We have already made a start in reducing our carbon footprint, and in recent years, we have managed to reduce our energy consumption by 30% simply by replacing light bulbs with more efficient LED ones.”

He explained that the club are using the grant to look at generating their own electricity, potentially through the installation of solar panels on their south-facing roof.

“Calculations show that we could generate as much energy as we use each year. We will be investigating measures such as improved insulation and switching to a heat pump for our heating needs in the coming years to further reduce our energy needs,” said Fray.

Also in receipt of the grant, The Community Brain will be “conducting a waste audit and research programme to help improve and stimulate circular economy practices”.

Robin Hutchinson from the Community Brain said: “We are delighted to receive the support from the Council to help tackle climate change.

“Our project will be looking at the ‘waste’ generated on the Cox Lane Industrial Estate and the opportunities to repurpose, reuse, and recycle these materials to encourage a more circular economy locally.”

Picture of Chessington Industrial Estate
The Community Brain’s project “will be looking at the ‘waste’ generated on the Cox Lane Industrial Estate”. Credit: Robin Hutchinson

The council has also awarded grants of £5,000 a year for three years to Kingston Upon Thames Association for the Blind and Kingston Hive.

All Saints Church, Friends of Beeline Way & New Malden Residents Association, The Community Brain, and Fern Hill Primary School have each received a one-off grant of £5,000 for the coming year.

Save The World Club, and CREW have been awarded grants of £10,000.

While the council has chosen nine projects to fund, it received 29 Green Grant applications, which demonstrated the desire from the community to help the council create a greener borough for current and future generations.

A Kingston Council spokesperson said: “Each submission was evaluated for its ability to help achieve key objectives from the council’s Climate Action Plan, which was launched in March 2022.

“Due to the number of applications, a portfolio approach was taken to awarding funding to ensure a breadth of objectives were represented in the successful projects.”

The council’s Climate Action Plan “aims to reduce emissions, protect and enhance nature, and prepare the borough for the unavoidable impacts of climate change, while also bringing other benefits such as safer streets, warmer homes, new jobs, and improved air quality”.

The funded projects each tackle a contributing factor to climate change or hope to help the local area prepare for the effects of climate change.

The Green Grant has been created to help encourage people to come together to take action against climate change by creating green-minded projects within Kingston.

A Kingston Council spokesperson said: “The Green Grants will help local people play a part in reducing climate-changing emissions locally and help to prepare the borough for the impacts of climate change.

“We also hope that funding these projects will motivate and inspire even more people to get involved when they see what is possible when working together.”

They said that because many local people want to take action, it is important for the council to support the local community where possible.

The Green Grant is funded by a wider programme to support activity in VCSE sectors across several different themes.

You can find out more about the council’s Community Grant Programme on their website.

Infographic listing the nine local projects Kingston
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Editor and reporter for the Kingston Courier

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