A £380,000 grant programme to encourage people from excluded and disadvantaged communities across Wales to get in touch with nature is launching today (Monday 19 July).
The ‘Local Places for Nature – Breaking Barriers’ programme is being run by The National Lottery Heritage Fund in Wales and funded by the Welsh Government.
Offering grants of between £30,000 to £100,000, the funding will encourage communities including black and minority ethnic, refugee, Gypsy, Roma and Traveller groups to connect with the nature on their doorsteps.
The grant programme will also be able to provide funding for communities in the top 30 per cent most deprived and disadvantaged communities in Wales, as identified by the Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation.
These are the communities in Wales that are worst hit by issues including poverty, unemployment, ill health and poor housing.
And to encourage projects or groups who have never applied for grants before, ‘Local Places for Nature – Breaking Barriers’ will be employing expert facilitators to help them apply for funding.
The new grant is part of the Welsh Government’s ‘Local Places for Nature’ programme which is committed to creating, restoring and enhancing nature ‘on your doorstep’.
Spending time in nature has never been more important
Looking after nature, helping people to understand it, spend time in it and value its importance has never been more important. Andrew White, Director of the Heritage Fund in Wales said:
‘That is why we’re thrilled to be working with Welsh Government to deliver the ‘Local Places for Nature- Breaking Barriers’ grant programme to help reconnect people from minoritised and disadvantaged communities with the natural world.’
The programme will seek to engage a wider range of people with nature and will also help us gain a better understanding of the barriers to engaging with nature and identify potential solutions.
Shaping the future
The findings of the ‘Local Places for Nature- Breaking Barriers’ grant programme will help shape the future direction of the Welsh Government’s Local Places for Nature programme.
‘Local Places for Nature – Breaking Barriers’ will also support groups who have already had funding from the existing ‘Local Places for Nature’ grant programme to keep their projects going.
Encouraging communities to create nature on their doorstep
Minister for Climate Change, Julie James said: ‘We are delighted to support the launch of this great project through our Local Places for Nature programme which was established to encourage communities to get involved with creating nature on their doorsteps.
We have seen a greater appreciation of nature during the pandemic and the way in which it underpins our health, our economy and our wider wellbeing.
I would urge anyone working for a project or a group to check to see if you could be eligible for support.’
The ‘Local Places for Nature – Breaking Barriers’ grant programme is open from Monday 19 July until Thursday 2 September.
For further information about the ‘Local Places for Nature – Breaking Barriers’ grant programme, please visit the Heritage Fund website.