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Apply for a Bags of Help grant

Dean Castle Tesco Groundwork Bags of Help project

Note: this round of the Bags of Help programme is now closed. The content on this page relates to applications made before 20 February 2017.

To apply for the current programme please visit this new page:

Apply for current programme


Bags of Help is Tesco’s local community grant scheme where the money raised from the 5p bag levy in Tesco stores is being used to fund thousands of community projects across the UK. The projects must meet the criteria of promoting community participation in the development and use of outdoor spaces.

Bags of Help is administered by Groundwork and supported in Scotland by greenspace scotland.

How does Bags of Help work?

Bags of Help is now is always open to applications from community projects.

Groundwork assesses all of the applications received to ensure they are eligible. This is followed up by Tesco shortlisting groups who decide which projects go forward to the in-store vote.

Three local community projects will be voted on in Tesco stores each month across Tesco regions throughout England, Scotland and Wales. In each region, the project that received the most votes from all stores in their region will receive a grant of up to £5,000. The second placed project receives up to £2,000 and third placed up to £1,000. Every year, over 7000 projects will receive funding through this scheme.

Key points

  • Bags of Help is funded by Tesco customers through the 5p carrier bag levy
  • Three projects will be shortlisted to go forward to a public vote in each of the Tesco regions every month
  • Each month three projects in each region will be awarded a grant based on the number of votes received: first place receives up to £5000, second place up to £2000 and third place up to £1000.
  • Grants are available to projects in England, Wales and Scotland
    Projects in Northern Ireland are not covered by this scheme*
  • Projects must deliver a physical environmental improvement and/or encourage use and long term sustainability of outdoor spaces

Which types of projects are eligible?

Grants will be awarded to voluntary or community organisations (including registered charities/companies), schools, health bodies (eg Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), NHS Hospital Trust, Foundation Trust), Parish/Town Councils, local authorities and social housing providers.

This list is not exhaustive and there will be many other types of organisations that will be funded.

Applications will not be funded where individuals have applied as groups must be fully constituted. Profit-making organisations are also ineligible for funding.

Sites solely used for religious or political purposes will not be eligible, nor will sites where a charge is made to access the project location such as a children’s farm, or play area provided on private land.

Bags of Help can fund 100% of your project costs so you do not have to have any match funding. However, if you secured additional funding, there is no limit to what this amount can be and any funding awarded by Bags of Help can form part of your wider project costs.

Your project can be a stand-alone project or discrete, self-contained part of a larger scheme or part of a phased project. You will need to complete your project within twelve months of receipt of the grant.

For any projects that are making a physical improvement to an outdoor space, you will need the landowner’s permission and you might also need other permissions – eg planning permission. These need to be in place before you submit your application and the landowner permission form will need to be completed and signed as part of your application

What types of projects will Bags of Help fund?

Bags of Help will fund projects that deliver a physical environmental improvement or encourage the use and long term sustainability of outdoor spaces.

Projects that would typically receive funding include (but are not limited to):

  • Developing nature trail in a local park or nature reserve
  • Purchasing bee hives and seeding wildflower meadow on a community allotment
  • Providing forest school sessions in a primary school for 12 months
  • Developing a garden in a hospice, purchasing plants, benches and pergola
  • Supporting artist in residence to work with the community to develop an art trail.
  • Setting up a growing project for sheltered accommodation residents
  • Supporting a gardening project which helps local isolated residents form a gardening club
  • Supporting practical training for young people learning horticultural skills
  • Funding a series of summer events in a local park
  • Funding a programme of beach clean up events
  • Repainting swings and play equipment in a park
  • Supporting community run summer sports and leisure activities in parks.
  • Helping to set up Britain in Bloom local group, purchasing plants, planters, forks, spades and compost.
  • Developing a community garden or orchard
  • Supporting local football club with the purchase of nets, balls and coaching sessions for under 12’s

*Unfortunately Tesco Bags of Help grants are not available for projects in Northern Ireland as carrier bag money is managed centrally by the Government.



Applying for a grant


1. Find your nearest Tesco store

Please use the Tesco store locator link below to find the full postcode of the nearest Tesco store to the site of your project. (Please note your nearest Tesco store may not be the one you ordinarily shop in).

You will need to note down the postcode and enter this into the Eligibility Quiz (and should you be eligible, your application form).

Store locator



2. Take the Eligibility Quiz

This short quiz will check that your project meets the basic requirements to be eligibile for a Bags of Help grant. If your project meets the criteria you will be given a link to the application form.

17 February 2017: Our application form is currently undergoing maintenance. It will be back online later today. Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience caused by this required work.

Alternative and Accessible Formats

If you experience or anticipate any barriers with our application process, require help to make an application, or accessing our services and information, please contact the Groundwork Tesco Programme Team to discuss the type of support we can provide.

Your local Community Enabler is also on hand to help - click here to find out more about their role. 



Useful links:


Applicant Guidance Notes

These notes are a step by step guide to help you complete your application form.

Read more

FAQs about Bags of Help grants

This section answers Frequently Asked Questions about applying for a Bags of Help grant.

Read more

About Community Enablers

Groundwork's community enablers support you to make your grant a success. Find out more about them here.

Read more