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Mayor’s fund that brought beekeeping and community gardens set to return

MAYOR Steve Rotheram’s Community Environment Fund is set to return for a third year.

The fund has already supported 92 projects across the Liverpool City Region from beekeeping and rare lambs to windflower meadows, upcycling, food projects and climate awareness.

If approved, the latest round would bring the total investment to £1.35m over three years and is on top of a further £3.3m provided to local authorities from the Combined Authority’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund allocation to support projects that facilitate green space and the building of safe resilient communities.

The fund aims to encourage long-term behavioural change, while improving the city region’s environment and safeguarding the sustainability of our greenspaces.

Grants of up to £30,000 will be available to grassroots environment projects under Phase 3 – with applications due to open later this year.

Steve Rotheram said: “Devolution is all about giving local people a stake – and a say – in their future and it was in that same spirit that I launched my Community Environment Fund. Any group who believes they have a great idea to improve their local environment and community for the better can get involved – and I’ve been absolutely blown away by the impact it’s had so far. We’ve empowered hundreds of our residents to work together, to get creative and encourage long-lasting behaviour change.”

The Community Environment Fund has so far seen more than 750 people across the city region volunteer time to deliver projects which have created 15,000 m2 of new habitat, planted 30,000 plants and trees, and produced more than 8,000 kg of sustainable food amongst other benefits.

Last year’s projects included the creation of a community garden on wasteland rife with flytipping in Toxteth led by Mulgrave Street Action Group, a bike refurbishment and cycling project put together by veterans from Halton Veterans’ Legion CIC to support their mental health and an urban garden in Kirkby where people can use plants and nature as a form of therapy run by Eco Therapy Garden CIC.

The results meet the objectives in the Combined Authority’s Five Year Climate Action Plan which outlines how the fund, and the projects it has supported, are vital in ensuring that communities are empowered to make positive environmental change.

For Phase 3, the Combined Authority will seek to increase outside investment such as private sector match funding for projects.

More details on who is eligible and how to apply for the Community Environment Fund will be published later this year.

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