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UK WASTE GETS A SPRING MAKEOVER WITH LOTTERY CASH

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The New Opportunities Fund, the largest National Lottery good cause distributor, is today awarding a further£1.73m...
The New Opportunities Fund, the largest National Lottery good cause distributor, is today awarding a further£1.73m to four award partners across the UK under its Transforming Waste programme.

The further funding will help enhance the quality of life of local communities, by funding projects that will expand community sector waste reuse, recycling and composting.

This funding is the last to be committed from the Fund's groundbreaking£49.5m Transforming Waste initiative to four existing award partners. This innovative programme supports community-based projects, particularly in disadvantaged areas, and engages local people in improving and caring for their environment.

In England, funding will extend the current programme run by the Royal Society for Nature Conservation by one year. In Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, the extra funding will add to the commitments made in the current timetable by the award partners Forward Scotland, Business in the Community Northern Ireland and Wales Council for Voluntary Action.

Stephen Dunmore, chief executive of the New Opportunities Fund, announced the additional funding: 'The New Opportunities Fund is committed to distributing lottery money to schemes that will help local communities to enjoy a better quality of life. This£1.73m will bring about essential and beneficial changes in waste management and improve quality of life, particularly in disadvantaged communities.'

The Royal Society for Nature Conservation, in England, will receive£1.3m on top of£35.2m previously awarded. This additional funding will enable the RSNC to extend their Community Recycling and Economic Development programme by one year. CRED supports a wide range of community-based waste recycling, reuse or composting projects, establishing new projects in areas where they do not currently exist and extending existing projects. This is accompanied by education and awareness-raising activities.

Forward Scotland will receive£185,632 in addition to its previous award of£4.8m. The scheme it manages, Transforming Waste Scotland, distributes funds to practical projects that work towards developing a culture of waste management for a sustainable Scotland. Waste Reuse, Recycling and Composting activities are integrated with environmental education and 23 projects around Scotland have already been offered grants during the past year.

Business in the Community Northern Ireland will receive£79,057 to add to its previous award of£2m. Its Community Resource Consortium was formed in 2002 to provide finance at community level, which will make a direct impact on the environment. This includes kerbside collections and the promotion of recycling.

Wales Council for Voluntary Action, the umbrella body for voluntary sector in Wales will receive£118,082 on top of the£3m previously awarded, for the Cleanstream grant scheme. This aims to contribute to a sustainable Wales, by making better use of resources and reducing the amount of waste generated by putting it to good use.

In the UK, many millions of tonnes of waste materials are disposed of in landfill that could be given a second lease of life, by being either converted to another use or by being repaired to extend their useful life. Landfill is also a major source of methane, one of the greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. Recycling, reuse and composting of materials is a more responsible approach to the management of resources and contributes to a more sustainable environment for the future.

Notes

1) Community sector in this context means organisations constituted as having social and/or environmental objectives, which operate either as a charity, as a worker-owned co-operative, or on a not-for-profit basis, engaged in community-based, sustainable waste management activities.

2) The£1.73m being announced today was reserved by the fund on a contingency basis. The fund is now committing the reserve funding to four of its award partners for their schemes. In England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales there are single award partners who will each receive an allocation.

The New Opportunities Fund distributes National Lottery money to health, education and environment projects across the UK. The fund aims to support sustainable projects that will improve the quality of life of people throughout the UK, address the needs of those who are most disadvantaged in society, encourage community participation and complement relevant local and national strategies and programmes. Since its launch in 1998, the New Opportunities Fund has committed£2.1bn to initiatives with national, regional and local partners from the public, voluntary and private sectors. Funding for programmes is divided between England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales on the basis of population weighted to reflect levels of deprivation.

A new organisation is currently being formed from the New Opportunities Fund and the Community Fund and will soon be distributing a major share of the good causes money raised through the National Lottery. This is an exciting opportunity for us to build on what both funds have achieved so far and create an even more responsive and accessible organisation. The new distributor, th e Big Lottery Fund, will be launched in June 2004. Current programmes, beneficiaries or applications will not be affected.

NEW OPPORTUNITIES FUND ENVIRONMENT PROGRAMMES ACROSS THE UK

Transforming Waste, launched in early 2003, is part of the quality of life area of a larger initiative called Transforming Communities, that is bringing£159m of National Lottery money to environment projects throughout the UK (of which£38.75m is part of Fair Share). Transforming Communities includes a number of programmes: Renewable Energy across the UK£10m for off-shore wind electricity generation, and£36m for bio-mass fuelled electricity and heat generation; Transforming Waste across the UK£49.5m for recycling, reuse, and composting activities; Transforming Your Space across the UK£49.5m (of which£38.75m for England is being delivered through Fair Share). Also,£10m is for the Scotland-only drugs programme, Better Off.

Green Spaces and Sustainable Ccommunities -£125m (including£10m for the Scottish Land Fund). This programme is funding projects designed to help urban and rural communities throughout the UK understand improve or care for their environment by creating, preserving or promoting access to green spaces of educational, recreational or environmental value to the community, including by the acquisition of land, reuse of derelict land, and creation of habitats, which encourage biodiversity. It encourages small community-based projects, which engage local people in improving and caring for their environment and promoting sustainable development. The roll out of the programme through award partners includes over£40 million of funding targeted on new and improved playing fields and children's play. The Scottish Land Fund programme has been extended bringing the total available through the programme to£15m.

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