The project called Artitude: Climate, Culture, Circularity is funded from the second round of grants from the Climate Action Fund, a ten-year £100 million National Lottery grant fund set up to help communities throughout the UK reduce their carbon footprint and show what is possible when people take the lead in tackling climate change.
The Playhouse will work with partners Zero Waste North West, Northern Ireland Resources Network, Queens University and Derry City and Strabane District Council to use the arts to co-ordinate and deliver a programme of activities over the next 18 months.
The project will cumulate in an Artitude Festival as part of the 10th anniversary celebrations of Derry and Strabane’s UK City of Culture in 2023.
This will include public campaigns, a volunteer programme, a conference to share learning and the publishing of useful resources.
Kevin Murphy, Chief Executive of The Playhouse explained: “We’re delighted to get this National Lottery grant because the climate emergency demands that we change our way of life, and the challenge is that people think this is a negative thing for them. This funding will allow us to use the arts to help change that story by helping people make choices which will improve their quality of life and support climate action. We will also use the arts to bring organisations, networks and people across the Derry City and Strabane District together to collaborate, pool resources and build a committed net zero movement.
“It is still in an early stage of planning, but thanks to this grant, we are the first arts organisation in Northern Ireland to recruit a Climate Action Officer, who will lead this project, and use the arts to connect everyone who is already involved in climate action, building a calendar of events that increase awareness and finding practical actions that can be taken.
“Research gathered over the next 18 months will result in a new commitment and plan for the area, helping us and our partners to make a real change, building on us being the first Zero Waste Region in the UK and Ireland. This project will give a clear path for the future and help people who want to take action to know what to do. As a community, we are positively choosing to help sustain our planet’s climate.”
Latest research from The National Lottery Community Fund shows 50% of adults in Northern Ireland are worried about how climate change will affect their community, and 81% felt communities were responsible for tackling it.
The survey of adults from across Northern Ireland reveals that not only were people concerned, but that they were prepared to do something about it, with 61% saying they’re currently taking part in community-led climate action, they plan to or may consider this, while 48% felt the pandemic had made addressing climate change more important to them.
Kate Beggs, The National Lottery Community Fund Northern Ireland Director said: “We know communities have a big role to play in responding to the climate emergency. That’s why, thanks to National Lottery players, we are pleased to be supporting community-led action to address waste and consumption. These projects will bring people together to create a lower waste society, that will not only help us get to net zero, but also support communities to prosper and thrive.”
Since 2016, thanks to National Lottery players, The National Lottery Community Fund has awarded £397 million through more than 6,000 grants which involve environmental action, including action on waste and consumption, energy, transport, food and the natural environment. National Lottery players raise £30 million each week across the UK for good causes.
To find out more about National Lottery funding to support the environment or other community projects visit www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk/funding/northern-ireland.