Environmentally-friendly initiatives across Babergh and Mid Suffolk, including electricity micro-generation and solar storage carports, have received a major boost this week, with government matched funding of up to £800,000.
The growth of sustainable technology across the districts – a major part of the councils’ ambition to become carbon neutral by 2030 – will receive an injection of up to £800,000 in matched funding from the “Getting Building Fund”, with the money going towards a pilot scheme to introduce electricity micro-generation and storage solar carports in Sudbury and Stowmarket.
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s Getting Building Fund, awarded the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership £32.1m to help deliver jobs, skills and infrastructure in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. The pilot scheme in Babergh and Mid Suffolk is one of 13 successful projects across Suffolk and Norfolk to receive funding.
The successful bid for funding will provide up to 50% of the budget for Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Council to install multifunctional solar carports which will generate and store electricity for electric vehicle charging. The locations currently being assessed are surface car parks at Station Road, Sudbury, and Gainsborough Road, Stowmarket, with a flexible third option also to be modelled.
Results of the detailed feasibility study will be completed by November this year with the initial two pilot projects being delivered by March 2022.
This initiative underpins the environmental and economic aspirations of Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Council to become carbon neutral by 2030 by increasing and showcasing localised energy production and clean/green technologies, supporting reduced fuel miles and offsetting energy costs.
Gerard Brewster, Mid Suffolk Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for economic growth, said: “I am delighted that Stowmarket has been selected as a pilot location for the Getting Building Fund. Providing cleaner, more sustainable options is hugely important for creating a healthy future for residents, visitors and businesses in Mid Suffolk.”
Jessica Fleming, Mid Suffolk District Council’s cabinet member for environment, said: “Last month, we outlined our ambition of becoming carbon neutral within the next 10 years and initiatives such as this will help us to achieve this.”
Michael Holt, Babergh District Council’s cabinet member for economic growth, said: “Babergh District Council has been exploring a range of green initiatives that could support businesses and communities and it is very positive to see the first of these receive financial backing to become a reality.”
Elisabeth Malvisi, Babergh District Council’s cabinet member for environment, said: “The introduction of a solar carport in Sudbury really demonstrates our forward-looking approach for our towns. We are looking at a range of opportunities to introduce green technologies across the district to help us create places where people are proud to live and work.”