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Climate Change Fund 2020-2024

Bedford Borough Council invites community groups, charities, schools and Parish Councils to apply to the Mayor’s Climate Change Fund.

Available funding

Funding is available to support such groups to install carbon reduction projects in community buildings, which will contribute to the reduction of carbon emissions within Bedford Borough.

The minimum grant application is £5,000 and the maximum grant is £20,000.

All monies must be spent within 12 months of receiving the grant.

Applicants will need to provide match funding of 50% of the total project cost from other sources.

Allocations for grant funding and the making of any payments under the scheme are entirely at the Council’s discretion. If conditions for payment of grant are not complied with, the Council can require the repayment of all or, part of payments made under the scheme.

Who can apply?

Applications are welcome from voluntary and community groups, tenants’ associations, residents’ associations, not-for-profit organisations, registered charities, academies, public sector including schools and Parish Councils, and social enterprises. Groups must have a legal status, terms of reference and bank account.

  • Projects must be located within Bedford Borough Council boundaries.
  • Private businesses, individual households and groups of houses are not eligible.

The Council will be sign posting additional support to those in fuel poverty or low income to help provide measures to reduce carbon emissions and financial outgoings.

Types of projects considered

The fund could support a wide variety of projects, the overlying principle is reducing carbon emissions in the Borough. The following are examples.

Projects that improve energy efficiency in existing buildings, including:

  • Loft insulation
  • Cavity wall insulation
  • Upgrading of heating systems
  • Boiler replacements
  • Secondary glazing
  • Low energy lighting schemes
  • Other low carbon and energy efficiency technologies

Installation of renewable / low carbon energy generation equipment:

  • Solar Thermal (hot water) systems
  • Solar Photo-Voltaic (solar panels)
  • Wind turbines
  • Hydro turbines
  • Ground or air source heat pumps
  • Combined heat and power (gas powered heating which also produces electricity)

Projects with multiple improvement technologies can be combined up to the maximum grant available.

How to apply for the Climate Change Fund

Please read the guidance notes and requirements of projects below then contact the Council’s Environment Team to discuss your project before completing an application form.


Applications are assessed by the Environment Team then referred to the panel of Councillors; led by the Portfolio Holder for Environment, Highways and Transport, for a final decision.

Applicants will be notified of the decision within 30 working days.

The decision of Bedford Borough Council is final.

Guidance notes

Requirements of projects

  1. Priority will be given to projects that show a good return of CO2 savings relating to project cost ie insulation measures.
  2. Any building involved should meet basic energy efficiency standards. An energy survey may need to be completed before submitting an application form. This should identify appropriate energy efficiency measures that need to be carried out as a priority. We recommend that you use an accredited energy consultant.
  3. Funding of an energy survey: 50% match-funding can be applied for from the Climate Change Fund (CCF), to help fund the cost of an energy survey, such as an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). The aim is to help identify and prioritise suitable carbon reduction measures for community buildings, for applications to be made to the fund to support. Please complete the separate application form below. An EPC will not be match-funded where one is required on construction or for the purpose of selling or letting the community building.
  4. Finding an energy consultant: You can find a Non-Domestic Energy Assessor at and searching by postcode.
  5. The CCF requires at least three quotes for each item being applied for. This information should then be included in the application form to demonstrate value for money.
  6. Please check if you need any permissions to carry out your project, eg planning permission or permission from a building owner and include this information in your application. Permissions should be gained before applying to the CCF.
  7. Applications must demonstrate how the grant will result in carbon dioxide emission reductions additional to those that would have taken place without the CCF grant. Funding will not be approved where technologies have already been purchased or installed.
  8. Please include any letters of support from the local community.
  9. Applicants that are VAT registered should include only non-recoverable VAT in their project costs. Applicants that are not VAT registered should include the full amount of VAT in their project costs.
  10. Grants should not include routine maintenance; staff costs or ongoing revenue support.
  11. Although the CCF cannot directly fund awareness raising activities, consideration will be given to what a proposed project will do to improve understanding of climate change, promote environmentally sustainable behaviour, and to increase community involvement.
  12. The Council will only fund projects that they feel are likely to deliver the most impact and can demonstrate an estimated payback time of under 20 years, from the resultant energy savings.
  13. The Council has pledged to become Carbon Neutral by 2030. Applicants will be expected to detail their targets to reducing carbon/ becoming carbon neutral and how this project will help to achieve this.

Application procedure

  1. Full applications must be made on the form provided below. Please complete every section – if the section is not relevant, please write ‘not applicable’.
  2. Applications should be kept brief but contain sufficient information to demonstrate how the project has met the criteria. If you are completing a handwritten copy of the form and need more space, please continue on a separate sheet.
  3. The Council reserves the right to request further information to assist with the assessment of applications, and to recommend amendments to projects where appropriate.
  4. Following approval there is a requirement to sign the Council’s Grant Funding Agreement prior to commencement. Additional information will be required, in particular, a detailed work programme and phasing programme for payment which will need to be agreed. Successful applicants will also be required to submit monthly monitoring reports to enable tracking of progress and expenditure. In addition, applicants will be required to submit annual monitoring reports to the Council for three years after project completion.

Application forms

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