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Local green schemes bag share of funding pot

Published on Friday, October 28, 2016

A PROJECT that will help attract wildlife to an island in the middle of a lake in Leicester’s Braunstone Park is to receive at least £8,000 from the Tesco Bags of Help initiative.

The city council-led project will enhance the island with the help of local volunteers and the support of the local angling club. Bat and bird boxes will be installed, an insect house added, and the island’s banks will be restored – creating a better environment for amphibians, small mammals and invertebrates.

News that the project has been awarded funding from the Tesco scheme – which is using funds raised through the 5p bag levy to support environmental projects around the country – has been welcomed by assistant city mayor Cllr Piara Singh Clair.

“This project will help enhance an area that’s very popular with the local community and well-used by the local angling club,” he said.

“With the help of a team of volunteers, and with this award from Tesco’s Bags of Help initiative, we’ll be able to clean up the area and create a more attractive environment for both visitors and wildlife.”

The ‘Greening the Edge’ project in Braunstone Park is joined on the shortlist by a second local project, which is also guaranteed an award of at least £8,000.

Local charity Froglife plans to create and improve amphibian ponds, meadows and woodland at Castle Hill Country Park, enhancing biodiversity and encouraging volunteers to help improve the site.

The ‘Castle Hill Ponds’ project is led by Froglife and supported by Leicester City Council.

From Monday (31 October) until 13 November, Tesco shoppers will be able to vote for both projects, with the project with the most votes receiving the top grant of £12,000. The project in second place will be awarded £10,000, with £8,000 going to the shortlisted project that comes third.

Shoppers can cast their vote using a token given to them at the check-out each time they shop in a local branch of Tesco.

Tesco has teamed up with Groundwork on its Bags of Help initiative, pledging donations of between £8,000 and £12,000 to environmental projects in each of the supermarket’s 416 regions.

The first round of the initiative saw approximately 8 million shoppers voting for their favourite projects to create the shortlist. 

Lindsey Crompton, Head of Community at Tesco, said: “The first round of the Bags of Help initiative was a fantastic success.

“In total 1,170 community groups were awarded £8,000, £10,000 or £12,000 - that’s a massive £11.7 million being invested into local projects.

“We are already seeing some great results from groups transforming their own environmental and greenspace areas.

“We are absolutely delighted to open the voting for round two. There are some fantastic projects on the shortlists and we can’t wait to see them come to life in hundreds of communities.”

Groundwork’s national Chief Executive, Graham Duxbury, said: “Bags of Help is giving our communities both the funding and the support to create better, healthier and greener places for everyone to enjoy.

“We’ve been thrilled to see the diversity of projects that have applied for funding, ranging from outdoor classrooms, sports facilities, community gardens, play areas and everything in between.

“They’re all fantastic projects that make a real difference in our neighbourhoods.”