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Marshland St James aims to become one of seven net-zero communities

A West Norfolk village is working towards becoming one of seven net zero communities in Norfolk thanks to a climate change partnership scheme.

Marshland St James residents and organisations are working with the Norfolk Climate Change Partnership, which West Norfolk Council is part of.

The Partnership will use £300,000 of government funding to support one community in each of the seven Norfolk districts, engaging with householders and local community organisations to explore ways to decarbonise homes and travel to help tackle climate change in a two-year pilot project.

Marshland St James is taking part in the scheme. Picture: Google Maps
Marshland St James is taking part in the scheme. Picture: Google Maps

Norfolk Net Zero Communities is one of just 21 successful locations across the UK.

Cllr Michael de Whalley, Cabinet member for Climate Change and Biodiversity at the borough council, said: “This project will bring benefits like warmer homes and energy security to the village.

“The aim is to make net zero work for people so it is not only the right thing to do but also the easiest.

“This project will explore barriers such as public awareness, technology confidence and how supply chain readiness can be overcome to make a step change in reducing carbon emissions. This will also ultimately help create more green jobs and a shift to net zero.”

He added: “The community in Marshland St James has been selected as the starting point in west Norfolk. I look forward to working with the Parish council, and ward members and engaging with residents in the area to increase the green credentials of the village and discovering best practices to be shared elsewhere across west Norfolk and the county.”

Working closely with all Norfolk Climate Change Partnership (NCCP) partners, the Norfolk Net Zero Communities project will focus on low carbon Net Zero adaptations such as making homes more efficient, installing renewable heat and energy, and enabling greener transport.

The project and partners will, at the same time, be engaging local businesses who are, or could, be involved in supplying these changes thus helping to grow a cleaner economy and green jobs in the area.

Cllr Sue Askew, chair of Marshland St James Parish Council, added: “The Parish Council are pleased to bring to the village and community the opportunity to explore ways for warmer homes and energy security and to decarbonise travel whilst working with trusted local suppliers.”

The money was awarded to the NCCP following a successful application to the Net Zero Living Fast Followers Programme managed by Innovate UK – the Government’s national innovation agency.

Mike Biddle, executive director, Net Zero, Innovate UK, said: ‘’The winners demonstrate innovative ideas that are designed at grassroots level. Seeing the range of projects is inspiring and, as well as running their initiatives, the local authorities will share best practices allowing others to capitalise on proven solutions.’’

The Norfolk Climate Change Partnership (NCCP) was formed in 2020 and exists to facilitate public sector organisations in Norfolk to share learning and work together to reduce territorial emissions and address climate change in the county.

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