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Government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund opens for applications

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

The £40m 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. 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 environment organisations, and support their suppliers in areas such as agricultural engineering, horticulture, and equipment and seed supply.

Environment Minister Rebecca Pow, says: “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 £10m of money from the Nature Recovery Fund and £30m of Nature for Climate Funding.

Applicants for over £250k 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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