A Bolton-based youth project has been awarded a grant worth more than £55k to install sustainable energy technology to help reduce its carbon emissions.

Be The Change was awarded the funding by Centrica, through its Energy for Tomorrow (EfT) social impact fund, which makes support available to groups and social enterprises to help boost local green projects. 

The grant will allow the youth group to install an air source heat pump along with solar panels and battery storage facilities, to generate and store energy independently at its new premises.

LED lighting will also be fitted to all internal and external lights, making the building even more environmentally friendly and energy efficient.

As well as reducing the carbon footprint of the organisation, it will also significantly cut its energy costs and promote greater financial security, allowing the youth project to open its facilities to the local community more often.

Daniel Sukula, founder of Be the Change, said: “Receiving funding from Energy for Tomorrow has been tremendous for the project, especially in the current cost of living crisis.

“It will help us to save money on energy consumption and focus more resources on supporting disadvantaged young people.”

Be The Change works with young people aged 10-25 from diverse communities across Bolton and the surrounding areas to improve their physical and mental wellbeing through expert coaching, advice, and guidance.

Launched in 2007 to support the UK’s transition to net zero, the Centrica EfT fund encourages the development of initiatives within local communities.

Along with the financial support, Centrica will also provide technical advice on implementing the sustainable technologies and work with Be The Change to help it to provide energy efficiency advice to the local community.

Sarah Wright, programme manager at Energy for Tomorrow, said: “Be The Change provides invaluable support to young people in one of England’s most deprived areas, and we’re proud to be able to give it our backing.

“The grant will help both with the group’s financial security and energy efficiency for many years to come, ensuring they can continue to help young people in the town.

“It’s more important than ever that we continue to support communities across the North West and the rest of the UK, at the same time as creating sustainable solutions that will help us achieve net zero.”

The EfT fund derives revenue from the feed-in tariffs of solar panels installed by Centrica on more than 250 schools across the UK.

The solar panels save each school almost £2,500 yearly, offsetting just over 13,000 tonnes of CO2.

For more information visit the official website.