Local community groups awarded over £70,000 to take on low carbon projects across Birmingham

Seven groups across the Birmingham area will receive £10k each to support climate action projects across the city and surrounding area. This unique initiative uses data to support the best actions to improve local communities and tackle the climate crisis. The funding is awarded by the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) as part of a collaboration with Birmingham City Council’s climate action plan.

CSE, a charity supporting people and organisations to tackle the climate emergency, created a free 3D data hub to support big ideas to reduce carbon emissions across Birmingham. The data covers a huge range of areas on housing, travel, waste, energy, and emissions and can support understanding on how many people are in fuel poverty or able to access broadband in a particular postcode, to looking at air quality or electric car charging points in a specific area and so much more!

Bridget Newbery, project manager at CSE said “In our cities we must change the way we live and travel and what we buy to meet our net zero targets. The new projects we’ve funded all aim to do something really innovative with data and will support Birmingham’s efforts to reach net zero in the next decade.”

The successful projects include:

  • Birmingham Tree People will combine land use and tree cover data with urban heat island, flood risk, air quality to identify locations where more trees would provide the most environmental and social benefits and ensure tree cover is more equal across different parts of Birmingham.
  • Footsteps will use fuel poverty, the energy performances of houses , waste, and air pollution data to support community engagement surrounding fuel poverty, waste reduction, and energy efficiency advice in faith communities to raise people’s understating of their carbon footprints and help them take action.
  • Birmingham County Football Association will use the 3D data hub to select five to six football venues within Birmingham in areas that are more deprived and have high levels of air pollution. This will encourage more sustainable transport behaviours such as through car sharing, public transport, or walking and cycling.
  • ecobirmingham are taking on two projects. Onewill use existing cycle route and air pollution data to create a new 30-mile cycle route that links all 69 areas of Birmingham together, to encourage more sustainable travel behaviour. The second will use multiple datasets from the 3D data hub to help create neighbourhood sustainability action plans.
  • Community Energy Birmingham are also running two projects. One will create an advice service to support household energy efficiency measures and heat pump installations. The second will use solar potential mapping, grid constraints, and conservation area data to create a self-referral tool whereby site-owners can establish whether their building is suitable for a solar installation.

Community Energy Birmingham are excited to take on two projects with the funding. Laurie Duncan from the group said:

We are really excited to receive CSE funding for two community energy projects in Birmingham.

“CEB have partnered with the Big Solar Co-op to recruit a Local Coordinator. They will enable us to install solar arrays on many more buildings in Birmingham over the next year – our first installations since March 2020.

“We are also launching a home energy advice service. Homeowners can receive a bespoke, impartial advice package, explaining the various technology options that can help them save energy and reduce their emissions. Our funding will provide training for eight assessors to deliver the service.”

This project is proud to support Birmingham City Council’s Route to Zero (R20) Action Plan and is funded through ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, a global network working with more than 2,500 local and regional governments committed to sustainable urban development.

The 3D hub offers a range of data sets including open data. The data includes statistics on regional and sub-regional fuel poverty, air quality, electric car charging points, buildings emissions, cycle routes and more. It’s all fully anonymised and meets latest privacy guidance and legislation. This data is specific to the Birmingham City region and can be downloaded and used for free.

For more information contact:

Charlotte Strain, Communications Project Officer, Centre for Sustainable Energy, charlotte.strain@cse.org.uk 0117 934 1400 (Switchboard)