Financial support for community and environmental projects from the Veolia Environmental Trust reached a new record of £5.88 million during 2018/2019 financial year, beating the previous years record of £5.3 million. Aimed at delivering real local benefits to communities and supporting environmental initiatives, 112 projects received funding during the year including 52 community buildings, 16 woodlands and nature reserves, 14 sporting amenities, 11 playgrounds and 13 public parks and community gardens.
Established in 1997 under the Landfill Communities Fund the Trust supports a wide range of community and environmental projects throughout England. Veolia has supported this initiative and in total contributed over £82 million which has been used to award over 2,354 grants to projects.
Funding for environmental projects over the last year included helping the preservation and restoration of the UKs peat bogs using an investment of over £780k. The award covered projects which will help conserve the globally important peatland bogs that absorb and store around 3.2 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, provide over a quarter of the country’s drinking water and provide a unique and diverse habitat for wildlife. With tree planting rates in England at their lowest for a generation the Trust supported the acquisition of a 98 acre piece of land near Ilkeston, Derbyshire to create a woodland using around 90,000 new trees.
Examples of the work in action is the community support activities in Watford, where the Trust awarded £250,000 to help create a Wheeled Sports activity centre on a former brownfield site. Designed to appeal to all ages, the new facility will have a positive impact on physical activity in the town and contribute to the local 10 year Sports Facilities Strategy. In Solihull the Trust is also providing a £191,700 investment to create new community facilities and a cafe to increase opportunities for wider social interaction, particularly to help more vulnerable or isolated members of the local community.
At the Blashford lakes Nature reserve in Ringwood the Trust awarded over £225,000 to upgrade the facilities to enhance the visitor experience including creating a sensory garden, providing new eco timber buildings with green roofs, and supporting the volunteers involved in new planting, clearing scrub and making new trails.
Kevin Hurst, Chief Commercial Officer , Veolia UK and Trustee of the Veolia Environmental Trust said
“We have a real opportunity to make a huge impact in the communities where we are based, and to resident’s lives. This latest funding highlights the benefits the Trust can deliver for both communities and the environment. I’m very pleased that our contribution over the last year has helped turn more than 100 key local projects into reality.”
For more information visit www.veolia.co.uk and www.veoliatrust.org