A share of £115,000 is up for grabs to help make the region a cleaner and greener place.
The funding has been made available for Merseyside and Halton community and voluntary groups, schools, faith groups and not-for-profit organisations, who can reduce household waste, encourage recycling and resource re-use, and prevent carbon emissions.
The money is coming from the Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority and Veolia Community Fund 2017/18, which has been running annually since 2006.
The impact of the 2015/16 Fund saw 10 projects deliver 71 full time equivalent jobs (created or safeguarded), participation by 253 volunteers, 24,256 people directly engaged, 680 tonnes of waste material diverted from landfill and £68,000 of equivalent landfill costs avoided.
Previous Community Fund projects have included:
- Taking in unwanted bikes and cheap bikes from auctions, refurbishing them to ‘as new’ quality and selling them at an affordable price to the local community as well as teaching people bicycle repair and maintenance.
- Targeting young adults aged 16-25 and providing a two-day course, arming club leaders with the skills and support to establish ‘Mersey Waste Muncher’ cookery clubs that focus on reducing food waste.
- Delivering a series of learning workshops enabling people to gain skills to revitalise unwanted furniture and textiles.
- Training homeless people with the skills to design and make attractive furniture and household accessories from waste, with the items going on sale at the Emmaus Superstore in Seaforth.
- Reducing the amount of reusable items going to landfill at the end of the academic year by collecting unwanted materials from student accommodation and redistributing cleaned and repaired items back to new students and the local community.
- Re-using waste wood from domestic properties and gardens to improve visitor facilities and livestock conditions at Home Farm in Croxteth Park and providing training opportunities in re-use.
Chairperson of Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority (MRWA), Councillor Graham Morgan, said: “We’ve made this money available for new and existing projects which can have an impact on their local community and make Merseyside and Halton a cleaner and greener place for us all to live and work.
“Giving groups the opportunity to get involved in looking after their environment can only bring benefits to all and can help us appreciate items as valuable resources rather than something which otherwise might be just thrown away.”
Interested groups should complete and submit an Expression of Interest with MRWA. If applicants are shortlisted then they will be asked to fill in a more detailed Community Fund entry.
Successful applicants can be awarded up to £25,000 for schemes which operate across Merseyside and Halton, and £8,000 for projects which work solely at local authority level.
Projects will have eleven months to deliver their schemes and will be expected to get started in May.
Knowsley’s Centre 63 are one organisation to have benefitted from the Community Fund. Jeane Lowe, Chief Executive Officer at Centre 63, said: “The Community Fund has been pivotal in enabling ‘Bike Back 63’ to take in unwanted bikes from the Knowsley community and refurbish them for local residents to re-use and also to help reduce the need for car journeys within the Borough. This support has also enabled us to upskill young people who are NEET (Not in Employment, Education or Training) and isolated older adults to become bike mechanics and repair old unwanted bikes which are donated back into the community.
“We have also delivered a popular ‘Earn-a-bike scheme’, ‘Bike loan scheme’ and taught over 150 children and young people how to ride a bike and simple bike maintenance techniques.”
Organisations interested in this year’s Community Fund can:
- Download the Expression of Interest Form and Guidance at merseysidewda.gov.uk
- Contact the Authority by Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / Tel: 0151 255 2526