Members of the Midlothian Climate Action Network are thrilled and making plans to celebrate after the Scottish Government confirmed that their application for grant funding for a staffed Climate Action Hub in the county had been successful. The Hub will support a collaborative effort focused on community-led climate action and adaptation within the region.
Funding of nearly £75,000 has been secured for the remainder of 2023-24 while more significant grant support for 2024-25 is agreed in principle only at this stage pending final agreement on the Scottish Government budgets for that year. However, the Scottish Government’s advice has been to recruit staff for both this year and next with that caveat. The application was made by a partnership involving Network members and Midlothian Voluntary Action, the local Third Sector Interface based in Dalkeith. The Network seek to obtain incorporated charitable status for the Hub during 2024-25. In the meantime, it is very happy with the partnership with MVA.
Ian Malcolm, who has been acting as coordinator of the Midlothian Climate Action Network since June, said:
“This is very welcome and exciting news for Midlothian and its communities. The Hub is a community-led initiative to encourage local community groups to achieve their climate action ambitions, through training and sharing and learning from each other through events and collaborative projects.
Climate action takes many forms; in environmental protection, community gardening and food growing, encouraging and protecting green spaces and increasing biodiversity. It encourages walking and cycling, helps reduce food and fuel bills in times of need, encourages community wellbeing and provides positive and inclusive opportunities for the local population. It’s all good.”
Lesley Kelly, Chief Officer of Midlothian TSI was equally delighted:
“The application to the Scottish Government had to come from an incorporated body such as our own and we were only too pleased to offer our support. So much of what is planned chimes with our goals to create positive opportunities and outcomes for the people of Midlothian, particularly those on low incomes and suffering most from the cost of living and energy crises. The more we can do to help communities support each other through these difficult times, the better.”
Councillor Dianne Alexander, Midlothian Council said:
“Midlothian Council fully endorses the community-focused funding received for a Midlothian climate change action hub. The hub will be immensely important to bring our communities and people together to work with us as we move forward on our journey towards net zero.”
The Hub will employ three members of staff in the first instance: the Hub Manager, and two part-time Community Engagement Officers working directly with and encouraging local community groups. The staff will be based in the MVA office in Dalkeith. The employing body will be MVA while the strategic direction for the Hub will be provided by a Hub Steering Group to be elected from the Network’s community groups.
Early actions by the Hub will include opening the first round of a communities’ seed funding grant programme and delivery of four roadshow events across the county region. These and other workstreams will increase awareness and understanding of climate change, provide sharing and learning opportunities and showcase and promote positive community efforts.
The application to the Scottish Government was supported by our local MP and MSPs, Midlothian Council and the Midlothian Community Planning Partnership. The partnership is grateful to SCCAN (Scottish Community Climate Action Network) and to the Scottish Government for their support.
Apply to join the cause!
The jobs are currently being advertised on Goodmoves:
This is an exciting time to be involved in community-led climate action and for the successful applicants to make their mark at local and regional levels and to influence policy and decision-making at national level.
For further information about the jobs please contact Lesley Kelly at email@example.com, or call 0131 663 9471.
The Midlothian Hub is one of a number of regional hubs being supported by the Scottish Government across the country. In addition to their work in Midlothian, the Hub Manager will play an active part in the Scotland-wide Hub network, attending monthly meetings, quarterly Stakeholder Working Group meetings and enabling opportunities for learning across the regions.