Low Carbon Dorset was started in 2018 thanks to funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) secured by Dorset Council in partnership with the Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
This ERDF funding enabled Low Carbon Dorset to provide free technical advice and grants towards energy efficiency, renewable energy, and innovation projects, from January 2018 to March 2023. This offer was available for business, community, and public sector organisations across the Dorset Council and BCP Council areas. This programme was independently evaluated by Ash Futures as part of the ERDF funding. You can find out more in the executive summary from the final evaluation report.
Low Carbon Dorset have also been fortunate to benefit from the ongoing support of the Dorset Local Nature Partnership (LNP), who formed a grants panel for the programme.
Dorset LNP Board Members have generously given their time to consider grant applications for Low Carbon Dorset projects with a value over £200k, or those where the applicant was Dorset Council.
The LNP panel’s oversight and decision making role has been invaluable, particularly their expertise when reviewing wider environmental impacts of projects under consideration. LNP Panel approval has made the following low carbon projects possible:
- Dorset History Centre – Passive Air-Handling Project
- Dorset Community Energy – Solar Panels on schools, hospitals and other community buildings
- RiversMeet Leisure Centre – Solar PV, Ground-Source Heat Pump, and LEDs
- Dorset Council Greenspace Team – Battery Powered Tools & Solar PV
- Hazelmead Community Energy Ltd – New Co-Housing Development Micro-Grid
- Kingston Maurward College – Ground Source Heat Pump & District Heating
- William Hughes Group – Large Rooftop Solar Panel Array
- Dorchester Town Council – Corn Exchange Retrofit
- InnovaGen Ltd – Prototype waste biomass generation
- Athelhampton House and Gardens – Solar panels, Battery and Air Source Heat Pump
- The Connaught Hotel – Air Source Heat Pumps
- Canford Renewable Energy – Dorset Green H2
- National Trust – Kingston Lacy Ground Source Heat Pump
Our independent evaluators, Ash Futures, noted that the LNP Grants Panel have played a “valuable role for the larger/Dorset Council led projects” by taking a “‘what’s in it for Dorset’ view” and making suggestions that lead to “project changes for the better”. We remain very thankful for their participation and contribution.
We have also worked with many other partners who provide excellent support to organisations in Dorset. They have promoted what Low Carbon Dorset can offer to their audiences and given us numerous opportunities to engage directly through webinars, in person events and inputting into resources on low carbon energy related themes. These include, but are not limited to: Dorset Chamber, Dorset Growth Hub, Dorset LEP, Dorset Community Action, and the Dorset Association of Parish and Town Councils.
Our partners have been crucial to raising awareness of the support we offer, sharing our learning about the benefits and challenges of delivering low carbon projects, and identifying ways we can work together.
Low Carbon Dorset has secured funding from Dorset Council’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) allocation to continue offering free technical advice to businesses and community groups in the Dorset Council area from April 2023, for two years.
We hope to continue working with a wide range of partners to share low carbon energy advice with organisations in Dorset, reaching even more businesses and community groups, and potentially award grants to low carbon projects in future if new funding can be secured.