Ambitious retrofit funding opportunities for local authorities

Ambitious retrofit funding opportunities for local authorities

Local authorities are being invited to access funding and expertise to help get hundreds of thousands of homes insulated and have renewable energy installed, as part of a new pilot scheme.  

The Local Area Retrofit Accelerator (LARA) pilot is being launched by the MCS Foundation, a national charity with a mission of achieving a carbon-free future for all UK homes. The programme is a collaboration between the MCS Foundation and Ashden, Connected Places Catapult, National Retrofit Hub and the UK Green Building Council.

Local authorities and combined authorities who are wanting to develop a local area retrofit strategy are invited to submit expressions of interest for the LARA pilot. Three successful areas will be able to access funding and expertise from the MCS Foundation, to help them produce a strategy tailored to the unique circumstances of each region.

The LARA programme seeks to address the 17% of the UK’s carbon emissions that come from heating our homes.

Alastair Mumford, Programme Director at the MCS Foundation, said: “Local authorities are at the forefront of delivering retrofitting to reduce households’ energy bills and reduce dependence on fossil fuels.

“Many local areas have high ambitions for retrofitting programmes, but there is a clear need for funding and strategic support to develop deliverable plans and turn them into reality. We hope to see many local authorities applying for the LARA programme to get that support.”

Donal Brown, Director of UK Programmes at Ashden, commented: “LARA is all about giving local areas the tools and resources they need to deliver a community powered, systemic solution to net zero. Thats why Ashden are delighted to be a part of the LARA consortium, and are looking forward to bringing the knowledge and insights from Ashdens award winners to the programme.”

Rachna Leveque, Senior Housing Innovation Lead at Connected Places Catapult, said: “Connected Places Catapult is delighted to support the LARA programme in delivering a holistic and place-based approach to retrofit. Place-based interventions not only improve retrofit uptake for enhanced health and resilience in our homes, they also derisk local supply chains, build capacity at a local level, and generate further investment into places.”

Simon McWhirter, Deputy CEO at the UK Green Building Council, added: “UKGBC is delighted to be working with the MCS Foundation and other partners to implement the Local Authority Retrofit Accelerator (LARA). Over the last two years UKGBC has worked alongside the MCS Foundation to develop the concept, and we’re delighted to now be at the stage to offer real support to local authorities and communities on the ground. We’re convinced that home retrofit can be a catalyst for wider, systemic change and offer real benefits not only to individual households, but also at the community and neighbourhood scale.”

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