Rory has urged Cumbrian communities tackling fuel poverty in their area to nominate themselves for an NEA Community Action Award, with the chance to win up to £3500 for their local project.

The Community Action Awards aim to reward projects throughout England which demonstrate excellence in the field of tackling fuel poverty and improving energy efficiency. Held jointly with the Department of Energy and Climate Change and British Gas, entries are accepted from community groups, charities, local authorities and third sector organisations.15 winners will receive up to £3,500 to develop or enhance a project which demonstrates excellence in one of the following areas;

· Community action to tackle fuel poverty across all vulnerable groups

· Community action to tackle hard to reach groups (in fuel poverty)

· Community action to tackle fuel poverty in rural areas

Winners will also receive additional financial and practical support to run a community engagement event to showcase their project and share best practice with others. It will run in two phases, with phase 1 closing on the 31 October 2013.

Rory Stewart said:

“Fuel poverty affects Cumbrian communities in ways that I feel much of the rest of the UK often does not really understand. Our traditional homes are difficult to heat, and much less likely to be connected to the mains gas grid. A trip to the shops or access to even the most basic of public services can easily be a journey of a few miles, often more, and so we are acutely affected by high fuel prices.”

“This is why so many communities throughout Cumbria have taken it upon themselves to address local fuel poverty; from smart metering in Wigton, to oil buying syndicates in the Northern Fells or in the Lyvennet valley. This NEA Community Action Award is a fantastic opportunity for local initiatives to receive additional funds and support to tackle the crippling effects of rural fuel poverty, and I would be more than happy to offer any community in Penrith and The Border support in the nomination process.”

For further information about the competition, please visit:

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