• Ayrshire Daily News


Projects in Ayrshire that bring communities together to enjoy the benefits of growing fruit and vegetables could be given a cash boost following the launch of the Central Scotland Green Network’s (CSGN) Growing Food Together Fund.

Supported by the Scottish Government, projects can apply for part of the £100k fund that aims to foster community engagement in growing and learning about food, and promote healthy eating and outdoor exercise.

The Central Scotland Green Network Trust (CSGNT), a leading charity in environmental regeneration, is managing the fund as part of its work to drive forward the delivery of the Central Scotland Green Network.

Community growing projects are a key part of creating an environment which allows central Scotland and its people to thrive, and the Trust is particularly interesting in applications which help to fit community growing into central Scotland’s recovery from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Derek Robertson, Chief Executive at CSGNT, explains further:

“We are all aware of how important access to good quality local greenspaces is – particularly at the moment. Community growing projects provide physical and mental health and wellbeing benefits to growers as well as the opportunity to grow healthy food. Community spaces will also be important areas for people to come together safely as lockdown measures are gradually eased. 

“This fund is an excellent opportunity to support communities who would like to develop and improve their own outdoor spaces. We look forward to hearing from projects that will bring people together to enjoy the health benefits of growing their own fresh fruit and vegetables and create more resilient communities.”

Rural Affairs Minister Mairi Gougeon said:

“The Growing Food Together Fund helps local communities enjoy the benefits of growing fruit and vegetables and supports a diverse range of projects which deliver social, community, health and environmental benefits.

“Now more than ever we are all increasingly aware of the importance of having access to growing and greenspaces as well as the physical and mental benefits of being outside and the need to recover from COVID-19 in a way that is inclusive and sustainable. 

“This funding is a fantastic opportunity for local residents – especially younger people – to get involved in community growing spaces and learn about the value of fresh, locally-grown food.”

The closing date for applications to the CSGN Growing Food Together Fund is 5pm on Friday 24 July 2020. For further information please visit www.centralscotlandgreennetwork.org.