Isle of Wight charity The Footprint Trust has been awarded just under £1 million by the government, to jointly spearhead a pioneering two-year pilot project.

Working with a community organisation based in Southampton, the Testlands Wellbeing Hub, their plan is to develop new and innovative ways of giving us energy advice.

The cash will allow the organisations to give help and information to thousands of people across the two areas, helping improve homes and reduce energy bills, through the Local Energy Advice Demonstrator project.

The Footprint Trust is already known for carrying out this kind of work on the Isle of Wight. The joint project will also help it continue to identify grants for home improvements.

Norman Arnold of The Footprint Trust said: "This grant will enable us to work hand-in-hand with Testlands.

"Our combined efforts will play a pivotal role in accelerating the transition to a sustainable and energy-efficient future in the south west of England."

The project, funded by the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, will see The Footprint Trust work with the mainland-based organisation which runs wellbeing and outreach programs.

The idea is to encourage joined-up thinking when it comes to national policy on energy security and net-zero emissions, and it is hoped the pilot will provide insights which could be used country-wide.

The collaboration between The Footprint Trust and Testlands Wellbeing Hub was one of 36 successful applications across England, including six in the region.

All had to prove they could support hard-to-reach energy consumers and properties. 

Isle of Wight County Press: The Footprint Trust's Norman Arnold, left and Luke Newman from Southampton's Testlands.The Footprint Trust's Norman Arnold, left and Luke Newman from Southampton's Testlands. (Image: Contributed.)

Norman said: "We are thrilled."

Luke Newman of Testlands Wellbeing Hub said: "Together, we can reach and support diverse consumer groups, ensuring that everyone has access to the resources and knowledge necessary to make sustainable choices for their homes and communities."

Jon Rattenbury, South West Net Zero Hub programme manager, said the winning applicants had, "shown a real appetite to support their communities to take action to save carbon and improve the energy efficiency of their homes."

"We look forward to working with these groups to share the learning from the pilot projects on providing tailored advice and developing the provision of advice to support as many people as possible," he added.