Communities throughout the North West have an opportunity to be awarded a share of £500,000 through a fund designed to improve resilience.
The region’s power network operator, Electricity North West, has launched a new Storm Arwen Community Resilience Fund and is now welcoming applications.
The fund is aimed at groups and organisations which supported communities throughout one of the worst storms the North West has ever seen.
Grants of up to £10,000 are being made available and in exceptional circumstances, grants of up to £15,000 will be considered.
Stephanie Trubshaw, Electricity North West’s customer director, said: “The level of community support shown during Storm Arwen last year was amazing and something we want to support and learn from.
“We want to be able to ensure the good work continues in the future should adverse weather cause disruption again and that’s why we’re launching our new Storm Arwen resilience fund.
“The fund is aimed at organisations and groups who will provide support communities in such events to support the welfare of their residents. The criteria we’ve set out is fairly open as we want communities to tell us what matters to them in a time of need.”
The fund is eligible to local volunteer-led organisations, not-for-profit community organisations, local registered charities and parish councils.
Examples of projects supported could be permanently installed generators, new or improved hot food and drink facilities or an improved community communications hub.
Electricity North West is working alongside Cumbria Foundation who will be administering the fund across the whole of the North West. In Cumbria specifically, one of the worst-hit areas during Storm Arwen, potential applicants can receive application support from ACTion with Communities in Cumbria (ACT).
Applicants must be based in or provide a service to eligible communities, which are defined as those which were off electricity supply for 72 hours or more during Storm Arwen in November 2021.
During Storm Arwen, 93,000 properties lost power across the North West after winds reached 74mph and tens of thousands of trees came down, pulling down power lines and snapping electricity poles.
Electricity North West restored 18,000 properties automatically within three minutes and over 600 engineers battled the elements restoring 90% of customers within 48 hours, despite continuing winds.
The fund is in addition to the £6m the power network has invested in winter preparations this year to reduce the impact on or customers through severe weather events.
For more information about the fund including criteria, please visit https://www.cumbriafoundation.org/fund/enwl-storm-arwen-community-resilience-fund/.