Improvements to make Anstey Village Hall more environmentally friendly are on their way thanks to a £10,000 grant from North Devon Council. 

The grant was awarded to East Anstey Parish Council from North Devon Council's Climate and Environment Grant (CEG) scheme which launched this year. The grant will be used towards the cost of installing solar panels and a new heating system to help make the hall more energy efficient and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This is the first grant North Devon Council has made from the scheme which has been introduced to help fund parish council projects in the district which have an emphasis on sustainability and countering climate change.

The scheme is available to eligible North Devon parishes with populations of less than 1,000 (as of November 2019) towards certain projects including:

  • training costs
  • set up costs and/or promotion
  • purchase of goods or equipment
  • costs of an event(s) to raise awareness of an issue

Lead Member for Environment at North Devon Council, Councillor Netti Pearson, says: "I'm delighted that we have been able to provide this grant towards the work at Anstey Village Hall. We really need to do as much as we can to support and promote activities that protect and enhance our natural environment and help to counter the effects of climate change: providing these grants is just one way we can support our smaller parishes to do this. A good point about the CEG is that it can also be used as match-funding by parish councils to attract other funding from external sources opening up further opportunities to our parishes."

Lead Member for Climate Change at North Devon Council, Councillor Caroline Leaver, says: "Through the new CEG we hope to encourage projects and local initiatives that our residents and communities have to support sustainability and improve the environment and tackle climate change issues. No project is too big or too small to be considered - something as simple as “wilding” open spaces, wild flower meadows or a bigger project like this installing solar panels, we're keen to hear from eligible parish councils and support them as best as we can through the scheme."

Parish Clerk for East Anstey Parish Council, Jill Larcombe, says: "Anstey Village Hall is now 20 years old and is at the point that it needs updating to help reduce running costs. I would like to thank the council for the generous grant which will help us make the changes to improve the hall's sustainability for the future, making it more energy efficient and help prevent climate change. As well as this I'm delighted that we have been able to help in our own way towards the council's targets for climate change within the district." 

Applications for the second round of funding from the CEG scheme have now opened and need to be received by North Devon Council before 31 January 2021. A decision on these applications will be made in February following consideration by a panel of councillors.  The award to Anstey Village Hall came from the first round of funding from the scheme which closed to applications at the end of August.  

£20,000 of funding is available in grants through the scheme for the financial years 2020/21, 2021/22 and 2022/23.

Full details about the scheme including parishes who are eligible to apply, how to apply and what grants can be provided for is available on the Climate and Environment Grants Policy web pages.

Help and advice with an application is also available by contacting North Devon Council's Corporate and Community Services Team - email grants@northdevon.gov.uk or call 01271 388253.

Information about other community grants and support available from North Devon Council including the popular Community Councillor Grant scheme is also available on the Community Grants and Support pages of the council website.

Photo shows, left to right, Vice Chair of East Anstey Parish Council, Councillor Heather Warne and Chair of Anstey Village Hall Committee, Valerie Jackson outside the hall.