A Bude-based action group is celebrating after receiving £2-million of lottery funding toward addressing climate change.
The Bude Climate Partnership has announced it has been awarded £1,995,503.07 in funding from the National Lottery Community Fund’s Climate Action fund for a range of community projects with the aim of addressing the impact of climate change in the town.
The funding is set to be spent on a programme of projects aimed at building long-term economic, social and environmental resilience against the impact of climate change in the communities of Bude-Stratton and ten adjacent rural parishes, called ‘Resilient Bude – Protecting Our Future’.
The flagship project of the scheme is the development of a sustainable tourism strategy which will see a collaboration with Bude Area Tourist Board aiming to unite businesses, the community and visitors to work together to build climate resilience in local tourism.
The impact of local tourism in the area is said to account for 50% of the area’s climate footprint.
Other projects will include initiatives to fund an energy adviser to provide free, independent help to residents in the area to improve the energy efficiency of their housing, a shore-line engagement project, a library of things, a community growing scheme and a community story-telling project.
The £2 million of funding comes as part of £100m being spent by the National Lottery Community Fund to support similar communities across the United Kingdom.
Robert Uhlig, Project Director of Bude Climate Partnership said: “Bude’s coastline, environment and wildlife are central to our community’s sense of place, and our wellbeing and prosperity. With 70% of local businesses dependent on tourism, it’s imperative in a rapidly changing climate that we work together to ensure the sustainability of a sector that employs 40% of our workforce and defines our way of life.
“In effect, we’re the UK’s Maldives: idyllic and beautiful, but facing an existential and imminent threat to our way of life due to sea-level rise. We’ve already seen the effects of climate change in Bude’s record temperatures for the southwest last summer and Storm Eunice’s toppling of the iconic tree in the heart of our town, seen on national and international TV news bulletins last winter.
“This funding will help our community develop a plan for adapting to the very considerable threat of sea level rise on our shoreline so that we can protect all that we cherish in our town, our environment and community.”
Nick Gardner, Head of Climate Action at the National Lottery Community Fund added: “Communities have a big role to play in tackling climate change locally and ultimately helping to move the UK towards net zero. Thanks to National Lottery players, we are able to support the Resilient Bude project, which offers an exciting opportunity to demonstrate how communities can work together to build resilience to localised threats such as that of sea-level rise, at the same time as prioritising reducing their own emissions.”