A share of £115,000 is up for grabs to help make the region a cleaner and greener place.
The funding has been made available for Merseyside and Halton community and voluntary groups, schools, faith groups and not-for-profit organisations, who can reduce household waste, encourage recycling and resource re-use and prevent carbon emissions. The projects will also have to demonstrate wider positive impacts on the environment, health and education.
The money is coming from the Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority and Veolia Community Fund 2018/19, which has been running annually since 2006.
Successful applicants can be awarded up to £25,000 for schemes which operate across all six districts in Merseyside and Halton, and £8,000 for projects which work solely at one local authority level.
The impact of the 2016/17 Fund saw 10 projects deliver 23 full time equivalent jobs (created or safeguarded), participation by 136 volunteers, 25,970 people directly engaged, 1345 tonnes of waste material diverted from landfill and £134,500 of equivalent landfill costs avoided.
Previous Community Fund projects have included:
– creating a sensory learning garden from re-used materials in St Helens
– the development of a shop in Wirral to sell used clothes
– the repair and re-use of unused furniture for redistribution to the local community in Halton
– cookery skills clubs to help reduce food waste across Merseyside and Halton
– sewing classes in Knowsley
– timber waste re-use at a local community farm in Liverpool
– improving online retail skills for a charity shop in Sefton
This year bids must tackle one or more of the four priority household waste materials which have been identified by MRWA as key, namely Food, Plastics, Textiles and Furniture. An analysis of waste in Merseyside and Halton in 2016 highlighted that a greater amount of these materials could be re-used or recycled. Projects can also include other household waste materials, for example paper, card and metals.
The Liverpool-based Neighbourhood Services Company Ltd (NSC) – which operates Home Farm at Croxteth Park – is one organisation to have benefitted from the Community Fund. The project used money to rescue old and unwanted wood to renovate animal dwellings, as well as enlisting the help of adults with learning difficulties to transform the raw materials into new products which are available to buy in the Craft Shop at the farm.
Lisa Jennions, NSC Manager, said: “The ongoing support from MRWA has been invaluable in enabling us to deliver recycling and reuse activities at Home Farm. The project is extremely popular with visitors and it’s great to see new life breathed into what was previously ‘waste’.”
Chairperson of Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority (MRWA), Councillor Graham Morgan, said: “We’ve made this money available for new and existing projects which can have an impact on their local community and make Merseyside and Halton a cleaner and greener place for us all to live and work.
“Giving groups the opportunity to get involved in looking after their environment can only bring benefits to all and can help us appreciate items as valuable resources rather than something which otherwise might be just thrown away.”
Interested groups should complete and submit an Expression of Interest with MRWA. If applicants are shortlisted then they will be asked to fill in a more detailed Community Fund entry. Projects will have ten months to deliver their schemes and will be expected to get started by June.
Organisations interested in this year’s Community Fund can: