Following its first two successful rounds, round three of the £2.6m Greater Manchester Green Spaces Fund is now open to applications, seeking community projects that will make a real difference to their local area.
The fund makes small and large grants available for community groups wanting to create new, accessible spaces or improve existing ones in their local area, particularly where there is currently poor local access to good quality green space.
To date the fund has supported 52 projects ranging from community and sensory gardens to tree planting schemes, food growing projects and more, including:
- The Together Kitchen Garden in Tameside, which received £7,475 funding to help create an allotment and green space where children can take part in ecotherapy whilst exploring and supporting their natural environment. The produce harvested by them will then be placed within a pantry where families can collect a free fresh food parcel weekly.
- The Leigh Community Garden, which was awarded £2,336 to create a green space in a deprived area of Leigh where locals accessing nearby support services – including the homeless shelter and addiction support – can come to reflect, relax and learn new skills including planting and maintaining a garden filled with plants and vegetables all year round.
- The Walkden Road Water Smart Street Tree Scheme in Salford, which was granted £40,000 to help the local community to green Walkden Road, introducing street trees, sustainable drainage systems and integrated rain gardens. This is a key route for those travelling to Walkden Town Centre, Walkden Train Station and the RHS Bridgewater.
Projects should improve publicly accessible spaces through physical improvements to make them better places for nature and people. These projects could take place in parks, community gardens, streets, schools, housing estates, canals, streams, rivers and existing nature reserves.
Examples of the type of projects it could support include:
- Improving existing or creating new accessible green space for people and/or wildlife
- Permanently greening streets
- Creating new permanent parklets or pocket parks
- Community gardening and food growing
- Turning paved over areas to green areas
- Cleaning up and restoring streams, rivers, canals and ponds
To make things easier for applicants, several Green Spaces Fund Advisors are on hand to help community groups apply. These advisors can:
- Support groups to apply for the Green Spaces Fund and other funding opportunities
- Ensure ideas generated by community groups are realistic and achievable
- Support groups to develop their skills and confidence in project delivery
- Develop the ongoing skills of community groups to ensure sites can be maintained and activities will continue long term
Those interested in applying can get in touch directly with the Green Spaces Fund Advisor covering their local area:
- Manchester & Trafford: Kieron McGlasson, Sow the City, email@example.com
- Rochdale: Lydia Marshall, Groundwork, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Stockport & Tameside: Agnes Allison, City of Trees, email@example.com
- Bolton & Bury: Emma Smith, Lancashire Wildlife Trust, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Oldham & Salford: Nina Agnew, RHS, email@example.com
- Wigan: Stephen Hodges, Groundwork, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Green Spaces Fund is part of the Greater Manchester Environment Fund, which has been established to provide more sustained investment in projects which contribute to creating a cleaner, carbon neutral Greater Manchester and to attract private investment. Managed by Lancashire Wildlife Trust, the Environment Fund aims to target funding for projects which improve nature, waterways and green spaces. For more information, please visit the website: www.gmenvfund.org.