ENTHUSIASTIC support has been given for a £1.2 million project which will see solar panels and other energy efficient measures installed in Craven District Council buildings.

Last week, the council’s policy committee unanimously agreed to progress the project, which will include £375,000 match funding, and last night, it was expected to be ratified by the full council.

If all members agree to go ahead with the plan, the council will submit a grant application to the European Regional Development Fund to part-fund the scheme. £375,700 in match funding.

The council is proposing to install renewable energy solutions and carbon reduction measures in Aireview House, Belle Vue Square, Craven Leisure, Skipton Crematorium, Skipton Town Hall and its new waste depot in Engine Shed Lane; it says it will mean a saving of 330 tonnes of C02 emissions year on year.

The project will also include installing renewable energy solutions in 28 Yorkshire Housing properties, funded by Yorkshire Housing, on the Greatwood and Horse Close estate and the Otley Street centre project.

Councillor Carl Lis, the council’s lead member for Greener Craven, said: “Whilst understandably our attention recently has been taken up with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly on our local economy, we cannot ignore our responsibilities in supporting a greener and more sustainable future.

“This offers a unique opportunity for the council to access substantial external funding to achieve the net zero carbon target it has set itself by 2030.

“If the recommendations are approved and the bid is successful, it will see the council introduce a range of renewable energy solutions across its operational buildings. As a step towards achieving a sustainable future, these measures are invaluable.”

Craven District Council has set a target of working towards net zero carbon by 2030.

Policy committee members, at their remotely held meeting, warmly welcomed the project, while some raised questions about the owner of Belle Vue Mills, and whether it would be contributing to the scheme, and whether money for such projects would be available in the future, once the country had ‘crashed’ out of the European Union.

The meeting heard that talks were ongoing with the landlord, and that funding from the ERDF was indeed ‘coming to an end’.