Government’s £40m Green Recovery Challenge Fund opens for applications

Grants from £50,000 to £5m are now available to kick-start the nation’s green recovery from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “I am delighted that we are distributing the Green Recovery Challenge Fund on behalf of Defra. We are committed to supporting the nature and environment sector quickly and effectively through this fund.”

The Green Recovery Challenge Fund is open to environmental charities and partnerships that include at least one environmental charity, with projects in England that are ready to start.

All projects must contribute to at least one of the following themes:

  • nature conservation and restoration
  • nature based solutions, particularly focused on climate change mitigation and adaptation such as through tree planting and restoring peatland
  • connecting people with nature

Projects will be favoured that create or retain jobs, providing opportunities and benefits for all ages, including young people. Projects from both rural, urban and inshore marine areas are welcomed.

Applications for grants up to £250,000 must be submitted by midday on 2 October. For applications over £250,000, there is a two-step process, with initial expressions of interest required by midday on 24 September.

Up to 100% of project costs will be available.

If, after reading the application guidance, you still have questions, please register to take part in our webinars for applicants on Wednesday 16 September (now sold out) or Friday 18 September. The one-hour webinars, which will run from 12.30pm-1.30pm, will include a brief overview of the fund, followed by a Q&A session.

The Green Recovery Challenge Fund, part of a wider HM Government green economic recovery jobs and skills package, will enable environmental charities and their partners to restore nature and tackle climate change.

The fund will help create up to 3,000 jobs such as ecologists, surveyors, nature reserve staff and education workers. In additional, it will safeguard up to 2,000 existing jobs in areas such as protecting species, finding nature-based solutions to tackling climate change, conservation rangers and connecting people with nature. It will also support suppliers in areas such as agricultural engineering, horticulture, and equipment and seed supply.

The National Lottery Heritage Fund is distributing the Green Recovery Challenge Fund in partnership with Natural England and the Environment Agency, on behalf of the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra). It has been made possible by bringing forward funding announced at Budget 2020 including £10m from the Nature Recovery Fund and £30m of Nature for Climate Funding.

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