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Cambridgeshire Net Zero action continues with funding from Innovate UK

01 March 2023

Cambridgeshire County Council together with its partners are powering forward with their shared Net Zero missions with the announcement of their successful bid in the Innovate UK Net Zero pioneer places programme. With an array of sector, community and local government partners collaborating together the flagship CANFFUND project will blueprint the next stages of innovation in the county’s journey towards decarbonisation.

With funding and support provided by Innovate UK, CANFFUND will unite local authorities, investors, local businesses and the local community to explore how to enable an efficient transition towards Net Zero by switching spending away from fossil fuels onto low carbon alternatives.

To meet Net Zero targets, the pace of innovation and implementation needs to accelerate.

Cambridgeshire’s CANFFUND feasibility study will look how economic and social systems are connected and interdependent, and the ways people and societies operate within those systems. The project explores how changes can be made to shift away from high-carbon goods across the power, heat and mobility sectors as well as within product manufacturing.

Cambridgeshire’s initiative is amongst 31 projects located across the UK chosen by central government set to benefit from a share of £2m of investment to investigate the barriers communities face in lowering their carbon footprint and taking action to combat climate change

Leading the feasibility study, Cambridgeshire County Council will work alongside the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, East Cambridgeshire District Council, Cambridge City Council, Huntingdonshire District Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council as well as City Science Ltd, Greater South East Net Zero Hub, The Collaborate CIC and UK Power Networks to deliver the project. The project builds upon the exciting policy and infrastructure works already in place across Cambridgeshire.

Examples of how Cambridgeshire County Council is already changing infrastructure is our work modernising Park & Ride sites with Electric Vehicle charging via solar canopies, replacing carbon-intensive heating infrastructure in schools and striving towards a cleaner future by driving down its own carbon emissions. The CANFUND project seeks to build on this work and that of our partners, developing a series of practical and place-based finance and funding packages to accelerate the delivery of Net Zero.

Chair of Cambridgeshire County Council’s Environment and Green Energy Committee, Councillor Lorna Dupre said: “We are committed to doing all we can to create a greener, fairer and more caring Cambridgeshire. To do this, we need to test new ideas and methods to help create a low carbon economy.

“Whilst some of the solutions needed to reach Net Zero are starting to become available, making it happen isn’t easy. Cambridgeshire and its partners have an important role to play in addressing the UK’s carbon emissions.”

The Government’s Net Zero Living Programme aims to help places and businesses to accelerate the delivery of the transition to Net Zero. Issues being investigated elsewhere include decarbonising transport, housing retrofit, and local energy planning. Trial studies are due to be undertaken during spring 2023. After these initial studies are complete later in the year, a selection of projects will be chosen by Innovate UK for up to £5m further local investment.