Living Places and Spaces: Funding to improve local environments

Minister for Infrastructure, Nichola Mallon and
Kate Beggs, Northern Ireland Director,
The National Lottery Community Fund announce funding for the environment.

Earlier this month, Nichola Mallon, Minister for the Department for Infrastructure, announced that we will be working alongside the Department to get funding out to communities who are interested in improving their local environment.  

During November, we will be launching Living Places and Spaces to support communities to create more sustainable and resilient outdoor spaces in their own areas.   

Larne Eco Rangers collecting litter
from a community garden area.

Our Funding Manager, Mark Creaney, has outlined the type of projects that could be supported through the programme. 

Living Places and Spaces will provide small scale capital grants of between £1,000 and £10,000.  Funding will support one-year environmental projects that have been developed and shaped by your community.  

What we’re looking for 

Living Places and Spaces will ultimately support communities to work together in creating sustainable, safe and green environments in their local areas.   

Tending to their fruit and veg at
The Cabbage Patchers,
Community Growing project.

Project ideas should focus on:  

  • greening – planting more trees and plants in an area 
  • rewilding – allowing nature to take over an outdoor community space 
  • or water management – slowing rainwater before it gets to the drainage systems.   

Who can apply?  

Voluntary and community sector organisations, social enterprises and schools can apply. If you are unsure if your organisation can apply please contact us. 

Gathering freshly grown apples.
Footprints Women’s Centre,
Community Food Shop & Support Service Hub

The online application form won’t be available until November but we are encouraging organisations to use this time to chat to people in their local community to find out what type of environmental  improvements they would like to see in their local areas. 

What can be funded? 

What your project idea looks like will depend on what you hear from local people.  For example, your community might want to create a garden, a small forest area, an allotment or even design a rain garden to allow rainwater, from an area prone to flooding, to soak away into the ground.   

Womens Tec exploring a pocket forest.
Connect 4 Women project.

Other ideas might include the creation or development of:  

  • a green roof on a community venue (a roof that is partially or completely covered with vegetation)  
  • a pond 
  • a living wall or vertical garden.  

The possibilities are endless and people within your community will have lots of ideas. 

Example of a vertical garden in the community.

Your project should be open to everyone so it is important to think about how people will access and use the space. You can apply for accessibility work and furniture to be included as part of your overall project costs.  

Working with people in your community will help to create a sense of local ownership, which will ensure your project is sustained even after the funding ends.  

If you would like further information on this programme visit our website or contact our team by telephone on 028 9055 1455 or by email at   

Community garden in
the village project at L’Arche Belfast.

You might also be interested in finding out more about the Together for Our Planet programme, which offers £1,000 to £10,000 of National Lottery funding to support communities across the UK to take action on climate change.  This programme is open to applications until 5pm on 18th November.  Further information on this can be found on our website

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