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Welcoming Our Newest Team Member – Our 100% Electric Van

At the end of last year, we were delighted to receive grant funding to support us to trial the use of an electric van to carry out our work across Fife. The grant will allow Fife Contemporary’s long-standing Craft Pods to visit more rural places and communities in Fife in a more sustainable way.  

We will have use of the van for three months. During this time, we will record all the journeys we make and check their carbon footprint against the carbon generated by the usual vehicles or transport options we would have used.  

Rural Touring for the Craft Pods 

Bangle by Lucy Pearl Petts
Necklace by Lucy Pearl Petts
Jewellery by Lucy Pearl Petts

Our Craft Pods are a popular and regular sight at community spaces, schools, and libraries across Fife; bringing museum standard displays of work by exceptional contemporary craft artists closer to the places where people live, work and learn. At the start of 2024 we will launch a new tour featuring the work of Materialise artist Lucy Pearl Petts – you can find out more about Lucy’s work and the tour here.  

We will be starting our tour of Lucy’s work this year by heading to some of the rural communities we regularly work with, to test the distance the van can take us in one delivery, and to work out the practical limits of what we can achieve. We are using this opportunity to reconnect with some of the more rural locations the Craft Pods have visited in the past, and will be enhancing the displays with activity sheets and ideas for young artists and families. 

Adapting and Thinking Differently  

Declaring a Climate Emergency has meant that we have had to think differently about the impact all our projects have on our carbon footprint – and be prepared to make radical changes to what we do in order to reach our ambitious net-zero target. The Craft Pods are already suitably sustainably designed, using reclaimed and found materials where possible.

The Craft Pods at The Hive, Kirkcaldy in Oct 2022

But because they are bulky and heavy, they cause considerable carbon emissions when they are transported around Fife by our team. 

Small Changes, Big Difference

We have learned already that by making just a few small changes we can radically reduce the carbon footprint of any activity. For instance, we realised that a few small design and build changes to the Craft Pods now make it possible to move them using a far smaller and more energy-efficient vehicle than previously used.  

Art Technician Ken with Fife Contemporary team member James

Further changes will mean that they can be moved to harder to reach spaces, be lifted upstairs and be manoeuvrable by a greater diversity of people.  

We know that electric vehicles are not the complete solution to the climate crisis; they use precious resources in their batteries and during construction, and electricity requires renewable sources to be truly sustainable. So, we are also doing all we can to prioritise sustainable transport options for the public and our team wherever possible.  

But to transport art and objects for exhibitions and displays across Fife, we hope that this trial use of an electric van will prove its value to our overall carbon footprint – and lead us to becoming more sustainable across all our programmes and activities in the future. Each journey made to transport art works, displays and activity materials in the van has substantially less impact than one using large petrol or diesel vehicles instead. 

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