E-cargo bike scheme launched by PACE Manningtree

Thu, 13/10/2022 - 15:22

Practical Actions for Climate and the Environment (PACE) Manningtree is one of many organisations which has successfully applied for funding from Essex County Council’s Climate Action Challenge Fund

PACE Manningtree has received funding for two projects. The first project is an E-cargo bike scheme, and the second project is the development of a booklet on how people can reduce their carbon footprint.

Essex County Council has made the £500,000 Climate Action Challenge Fund available to organisations in Essex as part of the £200 million Essex Climate Action Plan. Environment was made one of the Council’s four key strategic priorities in the Everyone’s Essex organisational strategy for the next three years to 2025. 

Organisations can apply for up to £20,000 to help facilitate climate-focused projects in Essex. 

John Hall, PACE Manningtree Chair, described the application process: “It was very straightforward, especially when compared to other applications.” He explained why PACE Manningtree decided to apply for funding: “We looked at the criteria for the fund, and our projects seemed to fit.”

John offered a word of advice for other organisations across Essex which might be considering applying for the fund: “The critical thing to understand is what the criteria for the fund are and whether the project you want funding for fits in with the criteria. If the project meets the requirements, then it’s definitely worth applying for because the application process is so straightforward. The money is provided upfront, which is really beneficial.” 

Thanks to the fund, the E-cargo bike scheme is now fully operational. A bike can be booked online or by phone. Individuals can use the bikes themselves or pay a small fee to have a rider. 

John explained how these cargo bikes are already being utilised by a local company which “gets lots of data every day and has to transfer it onto discs. They can’t do it online due to the large file sizes. Instead, the E-cargo bikes transport this information sustainably between the data analysts every day.” 

A booklet is the second project to be funded. It will explain positive practical things households can do to help tackle climate change and biodiversity loss. It is currently in the design process.

John mentioned the importance of the fund to execute the projects. “The E-cargo bike scheme couldn’t have happened without the fund. It generously provided us with the ability to buy the bike, which for a small organisation like ours is really significant.” Funding for the booklet enabled PACE Manningtree to hire a professional designer and cover the printing cost. 

With two projects enabled by the Climate Action Challenge Fund, John recommends other local organisations follow suit and encourages them to apply: “Why not apply? That’s what funding is all about, it is there to support people doing good things, and this is a good fund. Get on and apply!”

You can find more information about the fund and application guidance on the Essex County Council website.