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Funding, News - 16 September 2020

Government’s £40 million Green Recovery Challenge Fund opens for applications

Grants from £50,000 to £5 million are now available to help the nation build back greener from the coronavirus pandemic, the government announced.

The £40 million Green Recovery Challenge Fund, part of the government’s wider green economic recovery, jobs and skills package, brings forward funding for environmental charities and their partners to start work on projects across England to restore nature and tackle climate change.

The fund will help create up to 3,000 jobs and safeguard up to 2,000 others in areas such as protecting species, finding nature-based solutions to tackling climate change, conservation rangers and connecting people with nature.

Up to 100% of project costs will be available.

The fund will be delivered by the National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with Natural England and the Environment Agency.

All projects must contribute to at least one of the following themes of the Green Recovery Challenge Fund:

  • nature conservation and restoration;
  • nature-based solutions, particularly focused on climate change mitigation and adaptation such as through tree planting and restoring peatland; and,
  • connecting people with nature.

Projects will be favoured that create or retain jobs, creating opportunities and benefits for all ages, including young people.

Green Recovery Challenge Fund

The fund is open to environmental charities and partnerships that include at least one environmental charity, while projects from both rural, urban, and inshore marine areas are welcomed.

The fund will create a broad range of jobs such as ecologists, surveyors, nature reserve staff, and education workers in environmental organisations, and support their suppliers in areas such as agricultural engineering, horticulture, and equipment and seed supply.

Environment Minister Rebecca Pow, said: “I am delighted to launch our game-changing fund to kick-start projects to halt the loss of wildlife and tackle climate change, as we build back greener from the coronavirus pandemic.”

“Our ambitious fund will help environmental organisations employ more people to work on tree-planting, nature restoration and helping the public enjoy the outdoors, and I encourage organisations to step forward and apply so we can make a real difference to nature whilst also creating jobs.”

The Green Recovery Challenge Fund is funded by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs by bringing forward £10 million of money from the Nature Recovery Fund and £30 million of Nature for Climate Funding.

England Tree Strategy

The Green Recovery Challenge Fund forms part of a wider package to boost the economy announced earlier this year by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

The Prime Minister also reiterated the government’s commitment to re-foresting Britain by increasing planting to 30,000 hectares (75,000 acres) of trees every year by 2025 and creating a new patchwork of woodlands.

The government has recently consulted on a new England Tree Strategy to expand tree cover, support woodland management, and increase public engagement with trees and woodlands.

The government’s flagship Environment Bill puts the environment at the centre of policymaking to ensure that we have a cleaner, greener, and more resilient country for the next generation.

Applicants for over £250,000 must submit expressions of interest by 24 September and if successful full applications by 26 October.

The deadline for applications under £250k is 2 October.

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