The National Lottery Community Fund yesterday announced major funding of 1,697,257 to bring communities together to tackle food sustainability in Derry/Londonderry.
The funding has been awarded to the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland to develop a five-year project through the Acorn Farm in St Columb's Park. The ambitious project is encouraging people to take climate action through better food choices, growing programmes, climate focussed activities and sharing learning to change behaviours.
John showing some of the produce he has been growing as part of the National Lottery funded Acorn Farm Project, pictured at the site in St Columb's Park, Derry/Londonderry with Paul Sweeney, NI Chair, The National Lottery Community Fund, Shauna Kelpie, Acorn Fund Officer, Community Foundation NI and his mother, Aine Kivlehan
The project, which is partnered with Derry City and Strabane District Council and the Conservation Volunteers, will also build networks across sectors, driving a new inclusive food movement in Northern Ireland and across the UK.
The funding comes from The National Lottery Community Fund's Climate Action Fund, which was set up to help communities throughout the UK reduce their carbon footprint and show what is possible when people take the lead in tackling climate change.
Roisin Wood, CEO, Community Foundation NI, said: We are thrilled to receive this National Lottery funding to build on the work we have already started. The Acorn Farm has the potential to transform how local families and communities make choices about the food they grow and eat. The benefits will be far reaching as food choice impacts climate, health, mental well-being, cost of living and our social interactions.
The Acorn Farm Project was initially supported by 200,000 from The National Lottery Community Fund's Climate Action Fund in 2020 to support local families to grow their own produce at home and start developing the Acorn Farm at a former MOD site. This new funding will support the next stage of the Acorn Farm to become a food growing hub with a learning and skills development centre and sustainable food events venue.
Paul Sweeney, Northern Ireland Chair, The National Lottery Community Fund, said: From 25 years of funding environmental projects across the UK, we know that local community action is at the heart of delivering solutions that not only minimise the impact on the environment, but also offer extra benefits for communities. We are delighted that our Climate Action Fund is now open for applications.
It is inspiring to see the progress made at Acorn Farm and in Derry/Londonderry so far in climate action and we look forward to seeing what they will achieve with this new money.
Thanks to National Lottery players we're bringing these communities together so they can address climate change, learn from each other and have an impact within and beyond their communities.
Welcoming the National Lottery announcement, Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Sandra Duffy, said: It's fantastic news that such a community focused approach to promoting sustainability will now have the resources to engage a wide number of local people of all ages through a diverse and creative programme of activities.
The Acorn Farm has the potential to really drive change through making more people aware of the many healthier choices out there, and during the current cost of living crisis offering practical ways for people to help reduce household expenditure. Working in tandem with our partners in the Acorn Food Network we can take a proactive approach to climate action and a more sustainable future.
The National Lottery's Climate Action Fund is now open for applications to groups who are focussing on the link between nature and climate. For more information visit https://www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk/funding/programmes/climate-action-fund-programme
Since 2017, thanks to National Lottery players, The National Lottery Community Fund has awarded more than 410 million through over 7,000 grants which involve environmental action, including action on waste and consumption, energy, transport, food and the natural environment. National Lottery players raise over 30 million each week across the UK for good causes.
Notes to Editors
About The National Lottery Community Fund
We are the largest funder of community activity in the UK - we support people and communities to prosper and thrive.
We're proud to award money raised by National Lottery players to communities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and to work closely with Government to distribute vital grants and funding from key Government programmes and initiatives.
Our funding has a positive impact and makes a difference to people's lives. We support projects focused on things that matter, including economic prosperity, employment, young people, mental health, loneliness and helping the UK reach Net Zero by 2050.
Thanks to the support of National Lottery players, our funding is open to everyone. We're privileged to be able to work with the smallest of local groups right up to UK-wide charities, enabling people and communities to bring their ambitions to life.
National Lottery players raise over 30 million each week for good causes throughout the UK. Since The National Lottery began in 1994, 43 billion has been raised for good causes. National Lottery funding has been used to support over 635,000 projects - 255 projects per postcode area.
Climate Action Fund
This funding aims to help communities across the UK to address climate change. We're looking for projects that focus on the link between nature and climate. We want to fund projects that use nature to encourage more community-led climate action.