A bid to turn St Andrews into one of the greenest communities in the UK has won a £347,770 grant from the Scottish Government.
The University of St Andrews’ environmental awareness project, Transition, and the community’s St Andrews Environmental Network (StAndEn) have made a successful bid to the Scottish Government’s climate change fund.
They say they hope the scheme will bring ‘town and gown’ together.
The two bodies now plan to work together to reduce carbon emissions and foster greener behaviour across St Andrews town, and in the university, as part of a three-year project.
It is hoped a series of joint projects will alleviate fuel poverty and infirm residents on how they can reduce their carbon footprint.
One project aims to engage individual households including student flats and the surround villages, to promote sustainability awareness and offer advice on how not to waste food and water.
Other projects include:
– Establishing a Local Exchange Trading Scheme to reduce waste to landfill.
– Creatng community gardens across the area so residents can grow their own food.
– Working with local primary schools to encourage youngsters from an early age to save energy, food and water and think about sustainability.
– Creating a new St Andrews specific Carbon Calculator online to promote awareness and action on individual carbon footprints.
The groups will also organise events such as a Renewable Energy and Sustainability Fayre and a Food Festival.
They say this will spread the message and ‘create opportunities for town and gown to come together on this key issue.’
David Stutchfield, Energy Officer at the University of St Andrews said: “This project builds on the existing close relationship between the University and theSt Andrews community council project St Andrews Environmental Network (StAndEn).
“Together we will enable more carbon saving measures in the community, with University students and staff using their skills outwards to the community, and StAndEN supporting student carbon reductions.”
Dr Rehema White, a course director at the university, added: “The University has ongoing research and teaching programmes at undergraduate and postgraduate levels in sustainable development, and has been focusing on reducing carbon emissions through different aspects of our operations.
“Transition allows us to also engage students and staff around the university and reflect on our actions in relation to sustainability as well. It is also exciting to be able to integrate with the wider community”
Jane Kell, Project Manager of St Andrews Environmental Network (StAndEn) said: “Over the last two years St Andrews Environmental Network and Transition University of St Andrews have had a very good working relationship.
“Now we are embarking on a very exciting new project “St Andrews Communities Working Together” as equal partners delivering our services to benefit the whole community of St Andrews.”