A Burnley environmental centre gunning to be green champion of Europe has been backed by leaders in the town.
The Offshoots Project’s bid to be named the top low carbon scheme on the continent has received massive support from the town’s MP and Burnley Football Club chiefs.
The award-winning centre is already leading the UK field in the European Commission on Climate Change’s “World We Like” contest – sitting in 20th place out of 269 elite projects across Europe.
The internationally-renowned scheme, which attracts 6,000 eco-visitors every year, has now launched a “30 Days to Make a difference” campaign to get people voting in their thousands.
Civic leaders have called for Burnley to come out in force to help Offshoots romp into the final top 10 and put the town on the international map.
Burnley MP Gordon Birtwistle toured the pioneering plot, which is a living, working example of community-centred sustainability, along with Clarets CEO Lee Hoos and visitors from an Offshoots-inspired site in Berlin.
He said: “They have been asked to submit a bid for a special pan-European prize.
“Burnley is well know for manufacturing. But I don’t think many people know we have places like this.
“It is all about cutting the carbon footprint and making a sustainable planet.
“We have got to support something like this in Burnley. It is completely unheard of in Burnley and there is not many of them in the country.
He added: “There are 60,000 people living in Burnley and if everyone votes once a week for the next five weeks they will win the competition.”
Offshoots, which is run by Groundworks Pennine Lancashire, runs education and training programmes covering organic food production and woodland management to renewable energy systems and water purification.
Beekeeping and blacksmithing are taught on site and the world-leading permaculture model has been exported to other projects in Britain and Europe.
The Offshoots garden can generate energy, purify water, create fuel and grow organic fuel.
Phill Dewhurst, Offshoots manager, said: “We have been invited by the director of the European Commission on Climate Change to enter. This is the top table. It is the Olympics of the environmental movement.
“It is cutting-edge stuff. This town is right at the top of the list when it comes to initiatives about future sustainability and green technology and I don’t think that is well enough understood in the town, the county and even the country.
“This small project here is very important. But we are up against some of the most high-ranking activities in Europe and consequently the world.”
He added: “We have got around 4,500 votes but we need to triple that to get into the top 10. You can vote every day.”
To back Offshoots’ bid click http://world-you-like.europa.eu/ to vote.