COMMUNITY groups in Cumbria are being given grants to help the county move towards a zero carbon future.

The National Lottery is backing the £100,000 initiative launched by Cumbria Action for Sustainability this month to help community groups fight climate change.

Groups can now apply for grants ranging from £200 to £10,000 for projects and events to raise awareness of the urgent need to stop climate change and reduce carbon emissions.

Karen Mitchell, CAfS chief executive, said: "Thanks to National Lottery players, we can support local groups to bring about changes that will contribute to reaching net zero carbon in Cumbria while also benefitting local people.

"Getting people out of their cars and walking, using bikes or public transport, or sharing car use with others, are examples of actions that tackle climate change but also help householders by saving money on their petrol or diesel bills and getting some fresh air in the process.

"Similarly, an initiative like a repair cafe helps to reduce waste and the need to buy new things, while also saving money."

The launch of the new grants comes just weeks after the UN climate conference in Glasgow closed, highlighting the need for action at all levels - from governments to communities.

Nick Gardner, head of climate action at the National Lottery Community Fund, said: "Thanks to National Lottery players, we’re able to support CAfS to reach community groups who are working towards creating a zero carbon Cumbria. Community groups in Cumbria will be able to bring their climate action work to life by accessing this new Community Climate Grant fund.

"Communities across the UK have an important role to play in supporting the UK to get to its Net Zero target, and by taking climate action we are not only making significant environmental improvements but are also helping people and communities prosper and thrive."

Most grants will be awarded in small amounts, with a straightforward application process to benefit community groups.

Those judged to have the most carbon saving impact will be considered for the £10,000.

CAfS is running the grant scheme in partnership with the Cumbria Sustainability Network of more than a dozen community groups from across the county.