Lewes Climate Hub, one of the first climate emergency centres (CECs) in the UK, was officially opened by Councillor Adrian Ross, Chair of Lewes District Council, and Councillor Stephen Catlin, Mayor of Lewes Town Council, on Saturday 22 May and Councillor Matthew Bird, Cabinet Member for Sustainability.
Based at 2 Fisher Street in central Lewes, the Hub is one of a growing number CECs being established around the country to enable local people to get information about – and take action on – climate change and environmental breakdown.
Lewes Climate Hub has been set up by volunteers from around 20 local environmental and community groups including Extinction Rebellion Lewes, Transition Town Lewes, Common Cause, Friends of Lewes, the Railway Land Wildlife Trust and Wildflower Lewes.
The premises at 2 Fisher Street have been leased by Lewes District Council to the Hub at a discounted rent. Lewes Town Council have provided a grant to help with initial funding.
At the opening ceremony, which also featured performances by local world-renowned poet Grace Nichols and soprano opera singer Noa Lachman, Councillor Adrian Ross said: “It is my heartfelt belief that the twin challenges of climate change and biodiversity loss are the greatest issues of our time….I’m thrilled that our town and district are at the forefront of taking action on them.
He added: “We at the district council published our climate and environmental strategy earlier this year with a commitment to decarbonise the council by 2030. But our further ambition to decarbonise the whole district by the same date is not something we can achieve alone. The climate hub is a really important part of making that aim a reality and dovetails perfectly with so much of the work the council is advancing, not least the Climate Action Forum.”
It is hugely exciting to have the Hub at this location in the heart of town – a place where anyone can learn about the climate challenge and the actions we can take both individually and collectively to avoid the worst impacts of the crisis.”
Councillor Matthew Bird, Cabinet Member for Sustainability at Lewes District Council also spoke at the opening, saying: “One of our priorities is to ensure that partnerships like these ,with our local communities, develop effective and practical actions that respond to the urgency of the climate and ecological emergency’.
Councillor Stephen Catlin, Mayor of Lewes Town Council, said at the opening: “I’m delighted that the town council has been able to fund part of the start-up of the Hub. I hope it will be a great success and I’m confident Lewes will make it so.”
Dinah Morgan, one of the management team for Lewes Climate Hub, said: “We are really looking forward to working with Lewes District Council on rolling out its Climate Emergency Strategy.
With Lewes Town Council, we look forward to helping build community, publicise consultations and enhance our green spaces.
We want our Climate Hub to be a busy and dynamic place for all things environmental and social justice-based. We aim to link with more groups throughout the District to build a resilient and creative front against the climate crisis.”
Lewes Climate Hub plans to be open Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 4pm.
You can find out more and share your ideas for the Hub at www.lewesclimatehub.org