GARDENERS and allotment associations across the UK are being urged to dig in and apply for millions of pounds in grant funding raised from the sale of Tesco carrier bags.
Around £30m has already been delivered to more than 4,600 projects, through the supermarket’s Bags of Help initiative.
The scheme – which is run in conjunction with charity Groundwork – awards grants raised from the 5p bag levy to community projects up and down the UK.
Lindsey Crompton, Head of Community at Tesco, said: “The money raised from our customers buying bags is making a big difference to local communities across the country.
“Thanks to Bags of Help, millions has been invested so far on local projects like parks, sports facilities, school playgrounds and community gardens – projects that have all been chosen by our customers.”
Among the allotment and gardening groups to have benefitted are Westwood Grange Allotment Association in Peterborough.
The group used the money to transform a shipping container into a communal seating and barbecue area. Around 25 people attended a party to celebrate the opening of the site.
The association also used the money to undertake landscaping and a number of other improvements.
Paul Hetherington, Chair of National Allotment Society members, Westwood Grange Allotment Association said: “Westwood Grange Allotment Association would not have been able to carry out these much-needed developments without help from Tesco. The money has helped us enhance our site and its surroundings for people and has greatly increased the biodiversity of the area. The grant gave us the impetus to deliver and discover new skills.”
Groundwork’s national Chief Executive, Graham Duxbury, said: “Food grown on local allotments can reduce food miles and also help people make sustainable, healthy choices about what to eat, so it’s fantastic that we’re seeing so many allotment projects benefiting from Bags of Help funding.”
Tesco is calling on allotment and gardening groups to put themselves forward for a grant. Tesco customers and colleagues can also nominate projects they’d like to see receive some cash. Just ask in store for more information or visit the Bags of Help website, visit www.tesco.com/bagsofhelp/