Londoners to apply for greening

Locals in boroughs hosting next year's Olympic Games will nominate sites for £500,000 scheme.

25 projects in east London will benefit from the Olympic Legacy fund - image: Groundwork
25 projects in east London will benefit from the Olympic Legacy fund - image: Groundwork

Twenty-five rundown areas in east London are to be greened as part of a £500,000 Olympic legacy project.

Locals across boroughs that are to host the games next year will choose sites to be turned into community gardens, food-growing plots or play areas in consultation with environmental charity Groundwork.

Five "flagship" projects will gain £50,000 each for large-scale works such as improvements to rundown areas of big parks. Smaller £12,000 grants will go to the remaining 20 projects.

The cash comes from the SITA Trust, a non-profit ethical funding group linked to SITA UK, which is one of the waste contractors for the games. The trust will distribute Landfill Communities Funds, a scheme for funding community projects, donated by SITA UK.

"The £500,000 commitment from the trust will enable communities in the host boroughs to come together to improve many more sites," said Groundwork London director of communities and local partnerships Ben Coles. "Each project will have at its very heart the involvement of local volunteers in planning, delivery and future upkeep."

Community groups in the host boroughs can apply to become part of the Transform project by suggesting a site and some of their ideas.

SITA Trust programmes manager Andrew Saunders said: "Transform will help us create a lasting legacy of London 2012."

Transform is part of the Olympic Legacy Programme, launched with a grant of £200,000 from Defra last year. Projects have included improvements to community gardens and housing estates.

Minister's view

"Transform is a shining example of the 'Big Society' in action, with Government, businesses and local people pulling together to make a real difference to the community. Turning derelict land into community gardens will make a big difference in improving the local environment."

Lord Taylor, Sustainability minister


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