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Funding aims to stimulate local projects

Funding of up to £75,000 to support local climate action in the UK has been announced by the Place-Based Climate Action Network (PCAN).

Proposals are invited for the first round of the PCAN Fund, backed by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), which will support up to six projects worth £5,000 – £35,000 each, out of a total of £75,000.

The aim of the fund is to stimulate local action on climate change by providing small grants to researchers and research users. The fund, which has a total budget of £400,000 over five years, is an integral part of PCAN, which was announced in January 2019 by Claire Perry, Minister of State for Energy and Clean Growth.

The Place-based Climate Action Network (PCAN) is a £3.5m research network funded by the ESRC that has been set up to enable cities, towns and communities to build local action on climate change. The project brings together the research community and decision-makers in the public, private and third sectors.The network supports partnership working on climate action between universities, local authorities, businesses and other organisations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase resilience to climate change impacts.

PCAN will see the approach pioneered by Leeds Climate Commission rolled out in Belfast and Edinburgh and, it is hoped, other UK cities. The project aims to spread PCAN activities as widely as possible using the fund, which will award 20-30 grants in total with an average grant size of £20,000. The maximum grant size is £35,000.

The fund is open to the UK research and climate change community and applications are invited from both practitioners (policy makers, businesses, NGOs) and academics.

Proposals may focus on delivering local climate action through, for example, engagement, training, or the co-production of knowledge, or academic research that builds capacity to deliver action on climate change in areas such as finance and local governance. Different kinds of expenditure can be supported, depending on the design of the application.

The fund opens today (5 June) and short expressions of interest should be submitted by 1 July. Short-listed applicants will be invited to submit a fuller Stage 2 proposal by the end of September and successful applicants will be informed in November so that projects can start in early 2020. Full details are available on the PCAN website.

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