Community growers get Big Lottery award


Image courtesy Catherine Miller

A project led by the Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens has won £800,000 of Big Lottery funding to help community growers become successful and proactive money-raisers to compensate for falling grants and declining local authority financial support.

The Growing Together project, involving a number of partners, will use the funding to provide support materials, training and networking opportunities, to ‘hothouse’ new means of income generation for community groups. Particular emphasis will be placed on improving enterprise and marketing skills, developing relationships with local businesses and using social media for alternative fund-raising approaches.

The initiative is a response to the high demand for community growing spaces – there is a waiting list of 100,000 for allotments for example –  and also about bringing people together to improve their neighbourhoods.

“The Growing Together project aim to pool knowledge and resources from leading environmental and growing organisations fits well with our ambition to share learning and best practice world-wide,” said Peter Ainsworth, UK Chair of the Big Lottery Fund.

Celebrating the award of the funding, Jeremy Iles FCFCG CEO said, “With the grant, we will help community groups growing across the UK, develop and diversify their incomes through community finance and social enterprise which will in turn help secure the huge range of benefits they bring to their local communities,”

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Growing Together partners include The Plunkett Foundation, Groundwork UK, Permaculture Association, and the Incredible Edible Network.

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