Cash Grants Available for Communities in Yorkshire

Monday 10 February 2014

£100,000 fund will also help gardening groups plant more sustainably.

Communities across Yorkshire can now apply for grants to help fund local gardening projects as the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) launches the second installment of its £100,000 grassroots gardening programme, now supported by Kärcher to mark the launch of its new watering range.

As well as funding, the RHS Regional Development team, Libby Goodacre and Sarah-Jane Mason, both based at RHS Garden Harlow Carr in Harrogate, will provide additional support and expertise.

An application picked at random will also win a visit from multi-RHS-medal winner and Kärcher watering range ambassador, Diarmuid Gavin, who will share gardening tips and present the group with some new water-saving products worth hundreds of pounds.*

Diarmuid said: “This is an awesome venture that will ultimately help improve many people's lives, as well as the environment, and I’m so proud to be a part of it.

“In this climate, it can be a real struggle to find funding to support important projects, like the creation of allotments, transforming neglected land and creating sustainable planting schemes.

“A key aim of the scheme this year is to enable communities to garden more sustainably so we don’t exhaust our natural resources like water, peat and fuel, and a key way of doing this is by managing water effectively.

“I’ve met so many gardeners who want to make changes to their current practices, such as switching from seasonal to sustainable planting, but they’ve been unable to for lack of funding and we want to change that.”

Last year, more than 100 communities applied for funding and support from the RHS, and 32 groups received grants of up to £8,000**. For example, Keyhouse, a homeless charity in Keighley (Bradford), received £5,000 to help build a kitchen garden for its service-users. Before the project at Keyhouse began, only 2% of its 5,000 service-users got five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, and most lacked the skills and confidence to find jobs. Helping to build and run the allotment has allowed service-users to develop new skills, and fresh produce is now available every day.

Libby Goodacre, RHS Regional Development Manager, said: “We’ve received great feedback from communities who benefitted from the scheme last year and it has been fantastic to see the projects evolve. To be able to provide hands-on expertise, at a local level, and funding to groups who need the money has been so satisfying. I can’t wait to start again this year and help community gardeners and communities grow.”

Community groups, like Keyhouse, who are based in Yorkshire and The Humber may apply for grants. Large grants up to £10,000 will cover capital costs such as site-based improvement works including planting schemes with associated landscaping. Small grants up to £500 will cover set-up costs.

The deadline for this year’s applications for the RHS Kärcher Community Fund is Friday 14t March 2014 and groups can apply here:  


Notes to editors

For more information please contact Ed Horne on 020 7821 3356 or

* Groups that submit an application will automatically be entered into a fantastic prize from Kärcher. The prize will be a visit from Kärcher Ambassador and television personality Diarmuid Gavin who will offer tips and advice to the winning project and present a selection of products from the new Kärcher watering range worth more than £300+ (Kärcher Micro Irrigation Kit (RRP £199.99), Kärcher Rain Sensor Timer (RRP £99.99)).
** The three main projects that received the biggest cuts of funding in 2013 were:
1) Keyhouse Keighley, Bradford (charity supporting 5,000 homeless people)
Funds were used to design and build a kitchen garden at the charity’s drop-in centre which is located in a deprived area with little or no growing space. The garden was designed, developed and is run by the homeless and people at risk of becoming homeless. The kitchen garden is used for social activity, mental health improvement and physical exercise, and allows for skills development and learning opportunities.
2) Harris Road Allotment Society and Marcliffe School, Sheffield
The fund helped transform a derelict piece of land: this is enhancing the learning experience for 450 pupils of Marcliffe School by facilitating the creation of a polytunnel, which has been used as an outdoor classroom to enable the children to learn about where their food comes from. The money was also used to transform the entrance to the allotment, from a wasteland to a community amenity.
3) Horton Community Farm, Bradford
Horton Community Farm is a newly established social enterprise located in the most deprived area of the Yorkshire and The Humber region, where the health and life expectancy of people is generally worse than the national average. The group has transformed a neglected council allotment site from a terrible state of underuse and dereliction into a community growing space which is being used to provide fresh local food, community gardening, education for adults and children, volunteer opportunities and social and therapeutic horticulture.
Start-up funds of £300 were allocated to 29 groups across Yorkshire and The Humber in 2013:
1) Holmewood Executive (Bradford) – purchase and build 30 x 14ft polytunnel to create growing area for local community
2) Churchwell Action Group (Leeds) – help bring to life a neglected woodland: repair paths, clear out streams, make a pond for wildlife, wildflower meadow, storage facility
3) Spofforth in Bloom (Harrogate) – help clear debris and replace with sustainable plants and make area accessible for wheelchair users
4) Haycroft Gardening Group (Grimsby) – put finishing touches to a litter-strewn neglected patch which residents have developed into a green community haven
5) Welwick and Weeton Neighbourhood Watch Group (Welwick) – build wooden planters to plant up along Main Street by the war memorial
6) Friends of Flanderwell School (Rotherham) – plant up raised beds so children can grow fruit and veg on a previously concreted area
7) Wykeham and Ruston Millenium Group (Scarborough) – to plant bluebells, snowdrops, daffodils in wooded area alongside paths between two villages
8) Brighter Boroughbridge and District (Boroughbridge) – transform overgrown site to plant new shrubs and bulbs and create bug hotels to generate insect activity
9) Friends of Allerton Grange (Leeds) – help local residents plant 400 British native trees including oak, birch, sweet chestnut, hawthorn and hazel
10) Parents and Friends of Hornsea School (Hornsea) – bring neglected fruit orchard and pond to life to be an outdoor classroom by creating wildlife area
11) Recovery Enterprises (Sheffield) – create a series of raised beds to grow plants, vegetables and fruit trees; to sell produce to local café and community
12) Halton in Bloom (Leeds) – create a large planter for a shopping area in Halton to go with 50 hanging baskets, and a flower bed
13) High Green in Bloom (Sheffield) – create a seating area and renovate a rose garden within the village park
14) Freedom KDC (Doncaster) – create and develop a community space within a park and involve local residents to draw out of isolation
15) Friends of Westways (Sheffield) – enhance and regenerate playgrounds by creating ‘Green Islands’ by reviving forgotten beds and planting new ones
16) Scholes in Bloom (Leeds) – plough an area to create a wildflower meadow; project will bring pleasure to residents who are restricted in walking far
17) Oughtibridge Village Community Association (Sheffield) – plant wild bulbs in various sites around the village to welcome visitors and residents
18) Woodfield Millennium Green (High Birstwith) – plant new flower beds in area that team has regenerated
19) Top Royd Allotment Association (Thornton, Bradford) – drain pathways alongside allotment site, as currently large parts cannot be used after heavy rainfall
20) Hellaby Gardening Group (Rotherham) – to create a large, raised flower bed to beautify the village and enhance community spirit
21) Skelton Newby Hall (Ripon) – to help regenerate a school garden
22) Friends of Irton Village (Scarborough)
23) Asian Men’s Health Group (Bradford) – develop a community garden to provide a relaxation space between a residential area and busy local shops
24) Friends of Grosvenor Crescent (Scarborough) – regenerate a once-beautiful garden – funds will pay for tools, insurance, litter pickers and jackets
25) Heeley Rise Tenants and Residential Association (Huddersfield)
26) Friends of Highfields Community Orchard (Huddersfield) – put signs and notices up to educate residents about what is growing and when it will be ready to pick
27) Friends of Holly Hag (Sheffield) – grow membership through marketing and publicity and to develop skills in volunteers, ready for Big Plant
28) Friends of Seamor Village (Scarborough) – enhance floral scene in village with daffodils, snowdrops and crocus
29) Swinton Court Good Neighbour Association (Harrogate) – help complete a meadow / woodland area and plant fruit trees for less-abled residents in tower blocks

About Kärcher
Kärcher has 10,000 employees in 60 countries and 100 companies. The family-owned firm produces its cleaning equipment in Germany, Italy, Romania, the United States, Brazil, Mexico and China. More than 50,000 service centres ensure worldwide customer service. In the company’s development centres, more than 650 engineers and technicians are engaged in design engineering new solutions. In 2012 the company posted its highest-ever sales revenues of €1.92 billion and sold 10.8 million machines, more than ever before in its history.

About the RHS
The Royal Horticultural Society was founded in 1804 by Sir Joseph Banks and John Wedgwood for the encouragement and improvement of the science, art and practice of horticulture. We held our first flower shows in 1820, were granted a Royal Charter in 1861 and acquired RHS Garden Wisley, the first of our gardens, in 1903. From our first meetings in a small room off London’s Piccadilly, we have grown to become the world’s largest gardening charity.

Today the RHS is committed to providing a voice for all gardeners. We are driven by a simple love of plants and a belief that gardeners make the world a better place. 209 years on we continue to safeguard and advance the science, art and practice of horticulture, creating displays that inspire people to garden. In all aspects of our work we help gardeners develop by sharing our knowledge of plants, gardens and the environment.

RHS membership is for anyone with an interest in gardening. Support the RHS and secure a healthy future for gardening. For more information call: 0845 130 4646, or visit  

RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262

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About the RHS

The RHS believes that gardening improves the quality of life and that everyone should have access to great garden experiences. As a charity we help to bring gardening into people's lives and support gardeners of all levels and abilities; whether they are expert horticulturists or children who are planting seeds for the very first time.

RHS membership is for anyone with an interest in gardening. Support the RHS and secure a healthy future for gardening. For more information call: 0845 130 4646, or visit

RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262