Community projects get £100m

Charlie Dimmock and chef Oliver Rowe have teased out a record-breaking £100m from lottery chiefs to improve green spaces.

The Big Lottery Fund awarded half the money to Groundwork UK to improve parks and play areas, village greens and community gardens. Dimmock headed up last week’s launch for Groundwork while Rowe spearheaded a push by the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts (RSWT), which received the other £50m. Rowe will encourage communities to manage land and grow food. Total funding will pay for around a 1,000 projects over five years. Most of the grants will range from £10,000 to £50,000. Some will be £100,000, with very few up to £450,000. Community groups, tenants’ associations and parks’ friends groups can apply for the Changing Spaces cash from next March. Groundwork UK chief executive Tony Hawkhead said: “One thing we’ve learned over many years is local people know best how to improve their area. “This will give them the tools to turn their passion into action and make improvements to last.” Dimmock said locals would become more aware of the “vital need to protect the environment”. Big Lottery Fund chairman Sir Clive Booth said: “Changing Spaces is about promoting well-being, regenerating green spaces and supporting use of local food.” RSWT chief executive Stephanie Hilborne said: “It will help transform the local food sector by making locally grown food available to as many people as possible.”

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