Environment Fund Grants Now Open

We have once again teamed up with Wessex Water to offer grants of up to £2,000 for community or charitable projects working to protect or improve the environment.

The Wessex Water Environment Fund, which is now open for applications, will give grants of up to £2,000 to projects that involve communities in environmental activities that benefit the area, have a positive impact on the local environment or help communities understand the importance of supporting it.

Priority will be given to initiatives that save water or improve sustainability and local biodiversity, says Kirsty Scarlett, Wessex Water’s head of community engagement.

“The grants will also be targeted at organisations where a small amount of money can make a significant difference,” she added.

“Groups eligible are those with charitable aims, registered charities, and community interest companies with an annual income of less than £500,000. Schools and parish councils can apply if they can demonstrate community benefit to their project.”

Grants can go towards project costs including equipment, salaries and overheads.

The fund is part of the company’s charitable foundation, which provides a dedicated stream of funding for the voluntary sector. The Wessex Water Foundation plans to provide at least half a million pounds of funding every year to support community projects, local environment projects, debt advice and charities helping those who are suffering the consequences of poverty through low income or unemployment.

Last year more than £19,000 from the fund was awarded to 15 projects, including £1,500 to Pewsey Parish Council and Pewsey Avon River Restoration to restore native plants to the chalk stream running through the village to create food and habitats for fish, mammals and birds.

Youth charity Rise:61 in Salisbury used a £1,500 grant to create a sensory garden and composting area at the community garden its volunteers have reclaimed from bramble-strewn waste ground at the Bemerton Heath housing estate.

Sustainable Sherston was awarded £1,000 to buy juicing equipment to press and bottle apple juice from local gardens as part of the village’s annual Apple Day. The event is aimed at reducing food waste and encouraging fruit growing.

Wiltshire Community Foundation joint chief executive Fiona Oliver said: “We have been partnering with Wessex Water on this fund for three years now and have seen some wonderful community projects making a huge difference in their communities. We’re excited to see which new projects come forward.”

Applications are open until May 22. Find out more about the fund, its criteria and how to apply here 

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