More than £400,000 has been awarded to 16 projects that are improving residents access to nature since the West Midlands Combined Authority launched its Community Green Grants programme in partnership with the Heart of England Community Foundation last year.

In the latest round of successful applications, three community-led projects in Dudley and Sandwell have been awarded grants totaling £70,000.


DIYYA, a project that supports disadvantaged women and families from diverse communities in Lye has been awarded £25,000 to take on a second allotment to help more ladies grow their own produce and to expand its weekly gardening club.


Spectra Arts CIC, an arts organisation which specialises in supporting neurodiverse young people has been awarded £20,189 to create a pocket park in the grounds of Sandwell Hospital, offering green space as a respite for hospital staff, patients, visitors and the local community.


The Dorothy Parkes Centre in Smethwick has been awarded £23,977 to take on a second allotment to grow fruit and vegetables to help local people experiencing food poverty and provide produce to foodbanks.


Community Green Grants has set aside £725,000 to provide funding for locally-led projects that can help deliver one of the key aims of the WMCA’s Natural Environment Plan, which is for everybody living in the West Midlands to have access to high quality green and blue spaces within a 300-metre walk of where they live.


Jackie Homan, head of environment for the WMCA, said:

“Time spent time in nature is known to be beneficial to physical and mental wellbeing, but access to green spaces is not equal across the West Midlands.


“We’ve allocated just over half of the funding available through our Community Green Grants to improve access to high quality green space and I encourage as many groups as possible to get in touch if they have a project idea they think we can support.”

Small grants of between £3,000 and £25,000 or large grants of £25,000 to £100,000 are available with priority given to projects in communities where there is green deprivation.


For further information on the WMCA Community Green Grants and to apply, click here.

Photo (left to right): Usha Chopra, Lynne Howard and Joy Palmer, who are volunteers at The Dorothy Parkes Centre in Smethwick with Paul Randall, plot lead, and Rob Bruce, chief executive.