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June 4, 2008

Twechar community up for major green award

The people of Twechar are in the midst of major regeneration works. New houses and facilities are being built all around. The new housing is going to be built with high environmental specification but local people have decided they want to take the green agenda further. They have been nominated and shortlisted for UK’s biggest ever community environment challenge


East Dunbartonshire, May 2008; The National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA) has revealed that the local community in Twechar, East Dunbartonshire, through an application made on their behalf by Castle Rock Edinvar Housing Association, has made it onto the 100-strong nationwide shortlist competing for a slice of its million-pound Big Green Challenge prize fund by coming up with innovative ways to tackle climate change in their communities.

The Twechar community aims to cut its carbon emissions through the village regeneration programme. Castle Rock Edinvar’s housing improvements will go a long way towards making homes more efficient – both in terms of new build homes and refurbishments to existing homes. Local residents are being encouraged to make small changes and find new ways to reduce, reuse and recycle to make a difference.

The shortlisted groups now have until the beginning June to complete more detailed plans about how their ideas will work and will receive access to a range of experts to help them.

Twechar will be hoping to make the cut when the top 100 groups are whittled down to ten finalists in July, each of whom will receive up to £20,000, plus advice and support to get their green projects up and running over a year. The groups with the most imaginative and successful approach to cutting carbon emissions at the end of the competition will win a share of the £1m prize up for grabs.

Speaking of their success, Heather Macnaughton, Head of Neighbourhood Regeneration at Castle Rock Edinvar Housing Association said:

“We are delighted to be shortlisted for this award. We saw an opportunity for the whole community to become involved in improving the green credentials of the village through the regeneration programme. There is already some excellent work going on especially through the local primary school, but more can be done. We hope this challenge, using the regeneration process as the catalyst, will show very traditional established communities can also become green.”

Commenting on the group’s shortlisting, NESTA Chief Executive Jonathan Kestenbaum added:

“We’re delighted to announce that Twechar has made it through to the next stage of the Big Green Challenge. We launched the prize fund to encourage people to get together and come up with great ways to save the planet, and we’ve had an amazing reaction from groups right across the UK.

Those interested in learning more about all the groups on the Big Green Challenge shortlist should go to