Three more organisations have successfully secured funding from the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) to help better connect their local communities to nature.
All Saints Action Network in Wolverhampton, Marsh Hill Allotments in Stockland Green, Birmingham and Northfield Stroke Club in Birmingham have each received funding under the WMCA’s Community Green Grant scheme which helps green space poor communities improve their existing open spaces and enhance the local environment.
Each organisation will collect between £3,000 and £25,000 for their project. To date, nine community focused groups have been awarded a small grant since the scheme was launched in January 2022.
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “The funding we’ve been able to award via the Community Green Grants scheme has been a wonderful way to help local groups provide better access to nature for local people.
“Covid underlined just how beneficial local green spaces can be for the physical and mental wellbeing of residents so I’m pleased local people will be able to enjoy the projects being carried out by All Saints Action Network (awarded £20,000), Marsh Hill Allotments (awarded £7,000) and Northfield Stroke Club (awarded £11,000). I congratulate them all.”
Under the scheme, the WMCA has set aside £725,000 for community interest groups and companies, charities, and environmental organisations that can show how their planned activities will have a positive impact on their local surroundings.
All Saints Action Network was granted just over £20,000 to transform an unused car park into a family playground which will also include a wildlife pond and habitat and bird boxes to increase biodiversity.
Trustee at All Saints Action Network, Maureen Johnson, said: “We are more than delighted to have been awarded this grant. Through this funding, our All-Saints Family Playground will be transformed into a space that connects families with nature and helps children learn about the environment and natural habitats.
“Local specialists will work with us in building a pond that attracts wildlife and develop a planting scheme bringing colour, vibrancy, and life to what was a disused car park.” To enable as many people as possible to benefit from the grants, the WMCA is working in partnership with regional charity Heart of England Community Foundation, which is supporting the application and appraisal process.
Tina Costello, chief executive of the Heart of England Community Foundation, said: “It’s great to support these wonderful groups through the Community Green Grants scheme. These three projects are going to positively impact the local environment across the West Midlands. At the Foundation we’re proud to support local green projects that benefit the communities and spaces we care about.”
WMCA portfolio holder for environment and energy and leader of Solihull Council, Councillor Ian Courts, added: “I’m delighted to see the Community Green Grants scheme continuing to benefit groups across the West Midlands.
“The project applications from All Saints Action Network, Marsh Hill Allotments and Northfield Stroke Club are well deserving recipients of the funding, demonstrating the ambition and initiative we’re looking for in transforming green spaces. I look forward to seeing the momentum continue as we enter 2023”.