What is the Growing Grant?
The events of 2020 really highlighted the importance of community, the power of people, and the need for food security across our population. Whilst a number of community groups admirably stepped up to support their communities with emergency food supplies (amongst other forms of provision), there is a longer term need to reduce food insecurity and create stronger food sharing networks, so that emergency supplies are less relied upon in time to come.
Community food growing schemes can be a great way to do this, by providing people with a space to grow produce in a county with very long allotment waiting lists, and allowing people to learn the skills to start growing their own within a supportive group. They are also a good opportunity for isolated individuals to socialise with likeminded others and spend time outside, and gardening is a great way for anyone to get active.
We understand that it can be challenging to run a community group, not least due to the costs, for both starting up and maintaining the site. The Growing Grant was set up in January 2021 by Somerset County Council and Somerset Community Foundation, in order to provide funding support for groups across the county wishing to launch a community growing scheme, or build on an existing initiative.
Who can apply for the Growing Grant?
This grant is open to support community-led food projects in Somerset, which focus on growing food as a community effort but may also include related activities such as training, cooking sessions, and community meals. Projects must be volunteer-based, with the aim of growing food for the immediate community.
Projects based within disadvantaged neighbourhoods will be given priority, and they can be new or existing initiatives. Ideally, applications should come from organisations based within and supporting a defined community in multiple ways, with the need for a community food project already identified.
Once delegated, organisations will have flexibility to use their funds on what they deem necessary, and it is anticipated that grants will be used to fund essential services such as water supply, to purchase seeds, top soil and other gardening supplies, and to cover the organisations' support costs.
Successful grant applicants will also have access to external support and advice for developing their projects, and will be encouraged to share their experiences with others.
How to apply for the Growing Grant?
The outline process will be added here soon and the link to the application.
Your application should outline any consultation you have undertaken, how your project will support the local community's need, and how this will be sustained over coming years. You will also need to evidence how your project will fulfil gaps in local provision, either if there is none yet in place, or if current services would be enhanced.
We also have information on other funding opportunities for community growing projects.
- ProjectsView a list of community food growing projects across Somerset - find out what is happening and how to get involved.
Click below to view our projects.
- MapPut your community food project on the Somerset map!
Find food growing projects across the county.
Click the link below to view our map.
- ResourcesClick below to see links and resources