Nine environmental projects across central Scotland have received just over £100k of funding from the Central Scotland Green Network Growing Food Together fund to encourage community growing and promote healthy eating.
Supported by the Scottish Government, projects are sharing the fund to foster community engagement in growing and learning about food, and promote healthy eating and outdoor exercise.
The Green Action Trust, one of Scotland’s leading environmental regeneration charities, is managing the fund as part of its work to drive forward the delivery of the Central Scotland Green Network (CSGN).
The CSGN is Europe’s largest greenspace initiative which seeks to transform central Scotland into a place where the environment adds value to the economy and where people’s lives are enriched by its quality and initiatives.
Derek Robertson, Chief Executive of the Green Action Trust, said:
“We were very pleased to receive such a positive response to our Growing Food Together fund. This will help ensure that the Central Scotland Green Network Plan will continue to make a considerable contribution to projects that are improving the central belt on the ground.
“Innovative community growing projects like these will develop important areas for people to come together safely, creating vibrant community growing resources to encourage healthy eating, benefit local and disadvantaged communities, and enhance the local environment.”
Rural Affairs Minister Mairi Gougeon said:
“The Growing Food Together Fund helps local communities enjoy the benefits of growing fruit and vegetables by supporting projects that deliver social, community, health and environmental benefits.
“We are all increasingly aware of the importance of having access to growing and greenspaces as well as the physical and mental benefits of being outside. I am delighted that this support will help even more people get involved in community growing spaces and learn about the value of fresh, locally-grown food.”
The CSGN is a national development in the National Planning Framework 3 encompassing 19 local authorities across 10,000 sq km. It has the potential to benefit 3.8million people, equating to 68 per cent of Scotland’s population.
- Dollar Community Development Trust has been awarded £7,890 to carry out a feasibility study and associated soil analysis for a new community garden. The funds will also pay for community engagement plans and garden designs.
- The Broomhouse Centre has been awarded £7,829 to undertake a feasibility study which seeks to develop nearly 3,000m2 of vacant and derelict greenspaces in and around Broomhouse. This will significantly increase the level of community growing for local residents.
- Keeping Larbert & Stenhousemuir Beautiful Group (KLSB) has been awarded £5,500 to support a project which will convert 10,000m2 of vacant land into a productive community space providing opportunities for community growing, outdoor learning and events. The funding will help deliver an environmental report, fencing and raised bed materials.
- Glasgow City Council has been awarded £15,500 to help deliver “Growchapel” a community led project using horticultural therapy as a way of helping those members of the community struggling with mental health issues, addiction and isolation. The grant will specifically ensure the site is secured and pay for essential civil engineering works (footpaths, storage cabins, hard standing areas, drainage and cultivation) which will allow growers to access the site.
- Tenement Veg Cooperative has been awarded £4,800 to help expand the area of community growing that it presently has. The grant will be used to pay for soil tests, information and publicity materials and community growing supplies such as propagation equipment, seeds and compost.
- Healthy n Happy Community Development Trust has been awarded £19,000 for a project seeking to connect, improve and create exciting and accessible greenspaces across Cambuslang and Rutherglen. The grant will be used to establish two new community gardens which include features such as wheelchair accessible raised beds. The funds will also assist in publicising and promoting these new facilities and the provision of training sessions and a series of events.
- Bannockburn House Trust has been awarded £14,613 to support food growing training activities and enhance food growing facilities including fencing, raised beds and path improvements. A new community orchard and soft fruits planting will also be delivered as part of this project.
- Grow G63 has been awarded £12,418 for a project which seeks to increase opportunities for community food growing in rural Stirlingshire principally through the creation of a new market garden. The grant will also fund the purchase of tools, equipment and engage skilled staff to train local people.
- Alternatives has been awarded £12,500 to help develop a suite of social enterprises offering safe, therapeutic work placement opportunities for drug recovery clients on various horticultural sites across West Dunbartonshire. The money will be spent on providing secure fencing, a polytunnel, sheds, tools and equipment and associated cost with creating a community orchard.