14 January 2020

Exeter City Futures has been awarded funding, over the next three years, to help build strong relationships in and across Exeter’s communities.

Independent community interest company, Exeter City Futures (ECF), is today celebrating after being awarded a grant of almost £250,000 from The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK.

Over a period of three years, ECF will use this funding to build on its popular Connect events and develop a social development programme to support communities to build local change projects. ECF will also design and publish a toolkit that will enable local communities and individuals to respond to local issues in a way that supports the City’s ambition to be carbon neutral.

Since launching in 2016, ECF has undertaken extensive engagement with the local authorities, businesses, communities and individuals to understand the challenges facing the city that will need to be overcome in order to secure a carbon-neutral status by 2030. From this process, ECF defined 12 Goals that reflect the shared priorities of the City, including: Clean Air for Exeter, Sustainable Resources & Biodiversity, Renewable Energy Access for Everyone and Reducing the Dominance of Cars.

Liz O’Driscoll, Managing Director of ECF, said:

“I am excited to hear the news that ECF CIC have been successful in our bid to The National Lottery Community Fund. This is a superb step forward that will enable us to undertake a wider scope of activities and also validates our innovation approach to engage with communities and businesses.” 

“To achieve a Carbon Neutral Exeter we must have the community, organisations and local businesses on board. Over the next three years, this grant will enable us to maximise engagement across the City and create collaborative solutions that meet local needs.”

The key role of ECF is to bring Exeter’s businesses, individuals, communities and leaders together and provide the coordination and focus needed to deliver the city’s carbon ambitions. It also helps individuals and businesses understand how they can play an active role in this journey through building partnerships and accessing support, ideas and toolkits.

With this new funding, thanks to National Lottery players, ECF will be able to:

  • Strengthen its Connect events by bringing together businesses, communities and local authorities to define shared challenges, build joint solutions, and champion a collaborative approach across the city. 
  • Develop a social enterprise and community development support programme for local changemakers to build sustainable projects that align with Exeter’s 12 Goals. 
  • Share our Innovation Approach by publishing a toolkit that can be made available to all City communities and changemakers.

As part of ECF’s wider commitment to empowering individuals, businesses, and organisations to take direct actions to be more sustainable, ECF will be hosting Net Zero Exeter in March. This will be a festival of sustainability bringing together diverse communities to share understanding of the challenges, and what everyone – institutions, communities and individuals – can do to help meet the city’s ambition to become carbon neutral by 2030.