Capital Growth For Green Fingered Residents

London Food Link has £75,000 available for ‘grow your own’ schemes


London Food Link

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A share of £75,000 is now up for grabs for London’s green fingered community groups. The cash is available as part of the Capital Growth scheme, supported by the Mayor of London and managed by London Food Link, which encourages Londoners to grow their own food in under-used areas of the capital.

People can apply online ( for sums between £200 and £1500 to turn underused land into a vegetable patch. It is even possible to use grow bags on a concreted piece of ground to ‘grow your- own’. Under the scheme Londoners receive both financial and practical support to produce food, such as access to training and expert advice.

Last December’s round of funding proved popular, with 95 new growing spaces benefiting from a share of the first £75,000 on offer (from a total of £150,000). Schools, housing estates, homeless hostels and universities were amongst those that succeeded in winning financial support.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said, “Creating lush patches of fruit and veg is catching on, judging by Londoners’ enthusiastic response to Capital Growth. We’ve already helped to create dozens of new growing spaces at schools, housing estates, at homeless schemes and at three of the city’s universities. The scheme is helping to make the urban environment more pleasant and cared for, as well as providing a cheap, fun way to grow grub.”

Seb Mayfield, from London Food Link who are running Capital Growth, commented, “We’ve been amazed at the response from Londoners – it really seems to have captured the capital’s imagination. We’ve had such a diverse range of groups looking to set up spaces and we’re on target to create 2012 new community food growing spaces by the end of 2012.”

London's primary school children are also being encouraged to grow their own fruit and vegetables by the Mayor through a Capital Growth schools competition launched last month with London in Bloom. He has written to all primary schools in the capital urging them to create thriving food gardens. The top food growing schools in each three categories - 'Bugs and Slugs'; 'Collect and Create'; 'Climate Cool' - will win a visit by a celebrity gardener, cash prizes of £500, plants and a wormery. Schools are able to apply for these small grants to get growing and apply for the competition.

February 8, 2010