News: Bristol Green Capital grants to be approved

Chris Brown, December 12, 2014

Projects including one to create music from fruit falling from a tree are set to receive tens of thousands of pounds in funds to celebrate Bristol’s year as European Green Capital.

Cabinet is set to recommend more than 30 bids for a share of the £1.35million Strategic Grants pot announced earlier this year.

Applicants were invited to apply for grants of between £25,000 and £50,000 which would support the city’s aims as green capital and could be shared as “role model” projects with other European cities.

A final decision on which groups will be successful is expected to be made on Christmas Eve, but a cabinet meeting next Tuesday is set to outline which groups will have some extra Christmas cheer this year.

Among the expected winners are the APE Project CIC, which with a grant of £49,432 will aim to recycle bicycles and make them cheaply available to underprivileged children. Meanwhile, a bid of £49,045 from Beacon Farms will aim to scale up local food production in and around the city

The People’s Republic of Stokes Croft group is expected to gain the full £50,000 grant to install shipping containers at the Bearpit roundabout and encourage local artists to debate green issues through art form and growing produce on the site.

One of the more bizarre bids comes from the Bristol Ensemble group, which is set to receive £37,500 to set up a public display and a series of performances by creating music from fruit falling from a tree.

Meanwhile, Playing Out CIC – which helps parents to make their neighbourhood streets safe for children to play in by organising temporary road closures – is set to secure £41,200 to “scale up [its] work across the city to all neighbourhoods”.

Questions have been raised on social media about the potentially successful bid, thanks to the group’s links with the mayor of Bristol. Alice Ferguson, the managing director of Playing Out CIC, is daughter of mayor George Ferguson.

In the report to cabinet though, the decision making system revealed an initial examination of all bids from auditors KPMG. Bids which passed this stage then went to a panel who “debated and agreed their approach which included seeking to ensure the widest possible distribution of projects across the city, a commitment to support new initiatives and organisations where possible but ultimately a recognition that every recommended project should show significant environmental benefits”.

The cabinet meeting will take place at 1pm on December 16 at City Hall and will be webcast here.

You can read all the successful and failed bids for the strategic grants fund here.

Picture: Shutterstock

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