Government to award funds for improving environment

Voluntary organisations are being invited to apply for grants to promote sustainable living, says the Department for the Environment, Transport and the Regions (DETR).

The funding will be from the £4 million Environmental Action Fund (EAF), and will be available for projects in England designed to encourage people to ‘do their bit’ for the environment, helping to promote a better quality of life for all.

“I hope to allocate some £1.7 million to new national and £1.3 million to new regional projects in one-year grants,” said Environment Minister Michael Meacher. “This is in addition to the million pounds going to help 47 existing projects continue for a further year.”

“Voluntary groups have a key role to play at national and local levels in encouraging individuals to play their part in making sustainable development a reality,” said Meacher.

Regional projects will be short-listed by the network of government offices, with independent assessors evaluating regional applications.

According to Meacher, full and transparent guidance covering how to apply and how applications will be assessed, will be issued. The third annual report on all the projects supported will be published later this summer, with contact details for each organisation.

“But the EAF cannot stand still,” said Meacher. “Later this year I will set in hand a review of the EAF to make sure that we target these resources most effectively. My department will be writing to past and present applicants explaining how to get involved once we have appointed the body conducting the review.”

In light of the findings of the review, the aims, terms, conditions and administration of the distribution of these financial resources will be assessed, and appropriate recommendations for change made.

Application forms and guidance notes can be obtained from Victoria Akeredolu, at Zone 6/G9, Ashdown House, 123 Victoria Street, London SW1E 6DE; or by phoning 020 7944 6654; or by faxing 020 7944 6559.

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