The Green Spaces Fund is a £2.6 million funding pot delivered by the GM Environment Fund and made possible thanks to support from Greater Manchester Mayor, Andy Burnham. The funding helps local community groups increase the quality and quantity of accessible, nature-rich green space in their area. So far, funding has supported 86 projects across Greater Manchester, including Oldham’s brilliant GROWE project, which transformed a derelict orchard into a community oasis.

Groundwork manages the partnership of environmental organizations, who each act as Green Space Fund Advisors in each borough of Greater Manchester. Groundwork’s Community Lead, Abbie Williams, is the Green Space Fund Advisor in Rochdale and has been supporting a number of groups throughout the year to apply to the fund and get started on their greenspace project.

On Thursday 4th July 2024 community groups and partner organisation came together in Falinge Park for the Green Spaces Fund Rochdale Summer Roadshow. Despite the weather derailing plans for the Roadshow to be held outside, the event went ahead inside Vintage Worx’s cosy volunteer-run café.

Visitors arriving for the Green Spaces Fund event.

Summer Roadshow Insights

After some networking and a few cups of tea, the event kicked off with Green Space Fund Advisor for Rochdale and Groundwork Community Lead, Abbie providing an overview about the Green Spaces Fund and the opportunities it hopes to deliver to its communities.

Vintage Worx

Next was Tracie Powers from Vintage Worx.

Thanks to the Green Spaces Fund Vintage Worx have laid the foundations to be able to welcome volunteers into their community garden. Only a few months after receiving funding, their community gardens are flourishing and they have started to deliver new initiatives including a social farming area and a ‘junkyard’ garden.

Tracie stressed the importance of providing the younger generation with a connection to green spaces and a desire to protect them, a connection which cannot be nurtured without adequate funding. 

Now we can build a foundation from which we can grow.

Tracey giving her speech about her project.
Newbold Community Centre

Carole Kearns of Newbold Community- Growing Together project was next on stage, sharing the emotional journey of her project’s creation, from a plot of waste land to the thriving hub of community connection it is today.

The Newbold Community Growing Together project is now looking to offer homework groups and skills classes, including carpentry and English classes for refugees, providing a community space where people feel safe enough to learn.

The greenspace has helped to break down barriers between generations, cultures, and people with different abilities

It’s been invaluable, building relationships is the key.

Carole giving a speech about her project.

Connecting and networking

After the talks and some questions, members of the community built connections by taking part in some arts and crafts followed by a a tour around the community gardens.

Everyone was extremely supportive, offering help to other groups and sharing advice to those just getting started on their greenspace projects. This included Mark, who had come on advice from a local councillor. He was frustrated with an area of derelict council land and had come to get advice. Despite being out of his comfort zone, he was glad he came after learning lots and making some great contacts.

People mingling at the Green Spaces Fund event in Rochdale.

Find out more about these, and other, incredible projects on the GM Envrionment Fund website.

If you wish to apply for funding for a community project, more information can be found on the link below: