Charity boosted in efforts to cut emissions and save money

Cllr Peter Byatt at the Grade II listed Citizens Advice building in Lowestoft.

Cllr Peter Byatt at the Grade II listed Citizens Advice building in Lowestoft. - Credit: East Suffolk Council

A charity has been boosted in its efforts to cut emissions and save money at its Grade II listed building.

Citizens Advice in Lowestoft has received funding to make environmental improvements to St Margaret’s House in the town.

The charity has received support from East Suffolk councillors Peter Byatt, Janet Craig, Louise Gooch, Malcolm Pitchers, Linda Coulam, Andree Gee, Frank Mortimer and Trish Mortimer, who jointly donated over £7,500 from their Enabling Communities Budgets.

The charity approached the Suffolk Climate Change Partnership’s free survey service in 2018 to learn more about reducing its carbon footprint, lowering its energy bills and making its Victorian building more comfortable for staff and visitors.

After receiving support grants for modern radiators, roof insulation and LED lighting, additional funding of £7,527 from East Suffolk Council’s Enabling Communities Budget, boosted by The Geoffrey Watling Charity, meant the charity could also install secondary glazing, which was the last of the four recommendations from the survey.

Speaking on behalf of the councillors who made a donation, Peter Byatt, ward member for Kirkley and Pakefield, said: “Citizens Advice is a very worthy charity so we’re extremely pleased to have been able to support it with a donation that has the twin benefits of cutting carbon emissions and saving money on electricity - money that can be better spent elsewhere on the charity’s activities.”

Janet John, chief executive of Citizens Advice North East Suffolk said; “We were very appreciative of the initial environmental survey report that highlighted where we could make changes and thrilled that with various grants we have been able to make all the recommendations a reality.

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“This last activity, the installation of secondary glazing throughout, has not only meant we can keep heat in the building and make it draft free, the extra glazing keeps traffic noise from the outside to a minimum too.

"In fact, the impact was immediate.

"The day the secondary glazing was installed to coin a phrase from an old song 'the silence was golden' and the whole building feels much more comfortable already.

“We are very grateful to the East Suffolk councillors that made this possible and we look forward to welcoming the residents back to our cosy building and providing the advice and support they need once Covid restrictions are lifted and face-to face meetings return.”

Visit www.eastsuffolk.gov.uk/community/community-grants-and-funding/enabling-communities-budgets/ for further details.