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This post was originally posted on Project Dirt, where we are building a cluster for all the community-led environmental projects in Peterborough.

Here at the Citizen Power Peterborough* project we’ve been working with community groups that have ideas which could make Peterborough a greener place. One way we’ve been doing this is by running workshops that allow people to develop their ideas and meet others, then help them apply for a Citizen Power grant that will allow them to test that idea on the ground.

So far we’ve funded further development of a well-loved community garden in Paston and a group who are in the process of assuming responsibility for a section of ancient woodland in Bretton. The latest decisions on funding were made at an event last Friday, when eleven individuals and groups applied for grants to allow them to put their ideas into action.

The three judges were environmental innovators Pam Warhurst of Incredible Edible Todmorden and Hermione Taylor of The DoNation, together with Councillor Sam Dalton – the member of Peterborough’s cabinet with responsibility for environmental issues. The judges heard from each group, who pitched the idea of their project for the chance of a grant.

People developing project ideas at an earlier workshop (photo by Adrian Stone)

Among others, the judges heard from one group who wanted to replicate the success of a Cambridge paint upcycling project in Peterborough. Rather than sending paint straight to landfill, they planned to collect waste paint from local recycling centres, store, sort and redistribute it to community groups and families.

A group of students from Peterborough Regional College presented a plan to convert old unused bicycles into safe and usable bikes. The improved bikes will be available for college students to buy at low weekly cost over the course of a year – making travel a more active and healthy experience, as well as being better for the environment.

The judges also heard from another individual who wanted to demonstrate the effectiveness of alternative energy systems like hydrogen power to people at public events. He planned to use an education fuel cell to power a low-energy projector, at the same time demonstrating and explaining the physics behind the post-oil future.

In the end, the judges opted to fund all eleven projects for amounts between £300 and £500 each. Each project will be creating a profile on Project Dirt (if they don’t have one already), so in time you’ll be able to keep track of their progress through the Peterborough cluster on Project Dirt.

Well done to all involved!

* Citizen Power Peterborough is an initiative from the people of Peterborough, the RSA, Peterborough City Council and the Arts Council, East

The full list of winners:

  • Peterborough Repaint Scheme from Kevin and Fiona
  • The Backyard Food Group Shop from Sophie
  • Green Backyard Woodskills from Renny
  • Rake and Bake Gardening Club from Parents United
  • P£anet Bikes from Peterborough Regional College students
  • Pond & Frogs project from Peterborough Regional College students
  • An Introduction to Hydrogen Fuel Cells, HHO and Alternative Energy from Jordan
  • Bike workshop from Dominic
  • Slow Sewing from Lorena
  • The Little Miracles Peterborough Sensory Garden from Michelle
  • The Olive Branch Community Garden & Allotments from Mark
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