An allotment is a plot of land let to an individual for cultivation and is a primarily British construct. The Allotment Act (1922) defines an allotment garden as "an area not exceeding 40 pole used wholly or mainly for the cultivation of vegetable or fruit crops for consumption by the occupier or his family." Individuals may apply for grants to help pay for the land. Grants in the United Kingdom are given through public money or charitable trusts.
Esmée Fairbairn Allotments Initiative
The Esmee Fairbairn Foundation is one of the largest independent grant-making foundations in the UK and commits £25 million annually. Included is the Esmée Fairbairn Allotments Initiative that is worth £500,000. The initiative was created to regenerate underused allotment sites and find alternative ways of maintaining them as publicly accessible open-spaces.
Awards For All
Awards For All is part of the Big Lottery Fund. It awards grants of between £500 and £5,000 and is a scheme particularly suited to those new to the grants process. It is relatively simple to apply for and the outcome is decided on within eight weeks of the application being received.
The Landfill Communities Fund
This tax credit scheme enables operators of landfill sites to make gains by giving money to projects that meet environmental conditions described by the Landfill Tax Regulations. Most grants are between £5,000 and £50,000. Projects seeking funding must lie within 10 miles of an operational landfill site.
Allotments are generally excluded from the grant because of their being "used by individuals, not the general public". However, a number of people have bypassed this clause by including a public amenity in their application; such as wildlife gardens or a community composting program.
Local Authority Grant Schemes
Grants from this source are generally quite small but make up for it by being simple and quick to apply for. The Local Council has a section on its website dedicated to the grants being offers. Alternatively, the Community Grants Officer is able to provide the relevant information. It is also worthwhile asking the Allotment Officer and the Sustainability Officer to outline any allotment-specific grants.
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