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Plan for solar carport in Stowmarket wins £800,000 funding boost

A plan to install a solar carport in Stowmarket has received a funding boost.

The scheme is a major part of the Mid Suffolk and Babergh councils’ ambition to become carbon neutral by 2030.

It will involve electricity micro-generation and storage solar carports in the two districts.

Current locations being assessed are carparks at Gainsborough Road, Stowmarket and Station Road, Sudbury. A third flexible option is also being considered.

The plan will now receive an injection of up to £800,000 in matched funding from the government's “Getting Building Fund”.

Cllr Gerard Brewster, Mid Suffolk Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for economic growth, said: “I am delighted that Stowmarket has been selected as a pilot location for the Getting Building Fund.

"Providing cleaner, more sustainable options is hugely important for creating a healthy future for residents, visitors and businesses in Mid Suffolk.”

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government's Getting Building Fund, awarded the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership £32.1 million to help deliver jobs, skills and infrastructure in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The pilot scheme in Mid Suffolk and Babergh is one of 13 projects across Suffolk and Norfolk to receive funding.

The successful bid for funding will provide up to 50 per cent of the budget for the councils to install multifunctional solar carports which will generate and store electricity for electric vehicle charging.

Results of the detailed feasibility study will be completed by November this year with the initial two pilot projects being delivered by March 2022.

Cllr Jessica Fleming, Mid Suffolk District Council’s cabinet member for environment, said:

“Last month, we outlined our ambition of becoming carbon neutral within the next ten years and initiatives such as this will help us to achieve this.”

Cllr Michael Holt, Babergh District Council’s cabinet member for economic growth, said: “Babergh District Council has been exploring a range of green initiatives that could support businesses and communities and it is very positive to see the first of these receive financial backing to become a reality.”