‘Your Pots’ and ‘Community Pots’ grants to help regenerative enterprises and zero-waste initiatives grow into something great.

The Pots of Possibility fund

The Pots of Possibility fund supports ideas for developing a zero-waste, circular and regenerative economy in North Lancashire. It is part of Closing Loops, a five-year £1.5 million project funded by The National Lottery Community Fund to support initiatives to transform waste into a valuable resource and stimulate a thriving, regenerative local economy.

A regenerative economy is where local enterprises, organisations and people live and work in a way that protects and restores the environment, builds healthier communities and improves people’s wellbeing.

‘Community Pots’ are grants of up to £5,000 to support pilot projects, test the feasibility of new ideas and support community projects.

‘Your Pots’ are grants of between £5000 and £10,000 for social enterprises, charities and other not-for-profit groups or organisations. These grants can be used to take forward new ideas or to scale up and expand regenerative projects and enterprises that will help our community and environment to flourish.

The grants will be awarded at a public decision day where organisations present their project ideas and members of the public vote on which projects should get the money. The day is a great opportunity for organisations to build connections and increase community engagement with their project.

There won’t just be one winner, and it’s not about ‘winner takes all’. It’s about local communities deciding how best to spend scarce resources and about helping some great local projects to reach their full potential.

If you have an enterprising idea that fits into one of the following themes, we’d love to hear from you:

  • Reusing, repurposing and repairing materials currently going to waste (e.g. textiles, electronics, packaging, surplus food, etc)
  • Sharing resources (e.g. tools, materials, skills, etc) or repurposing unused space for community benefit
  • Inspiring people to use and buy things more sustainably and to produce less waste
  • Growing, cooking and eating food that’s local, seasonal and sustainably produced

Community Pots: Round One has now closed to new applications. Round Two will launch in Spring 2024.

Your Pots: Round One has now closed to new applications. Round Two will open in Summer 2024.

What is a regenerative economy?

The Closing Loops project aims to create a regenerative economy in North Lancashire. A regenerative economy is a network of local people, organisations and businesses who live and work in a way that protects and restores the environment, builds healthier communities and improves people’s wellbeing.

A regenerative economy is made up of different regenerative enterprises. These could be community initiatives or groups, charities, social entrepreneurs and other types of not-for-profit business. Some examples might include:

  • A market garden that grows and distributes seasonal, organic veg locally and trains new growers who want to produce local food
  • A village stall for swapping surplus veg, plants and seeds
  • A small business that makes use of a material currently going to waste (food, textiles, plastic, etc)
  • Workshops to learn about refurbishing, fixing and repairing
  • Using an empty building for a pop-up repair cafe

What is participatory budgeting?

What if communities could decide together where money is spent to build fairer, more regenerative local economies?

Find out more about how participatory budgeting works and how it will be implemented in North Lancashire in this article by Jez Hall from Shared Future. The article was published in the summer 2023 edition of THRIVE, North Lancashire’s community food magazine.

Read more in THRIVE

The spring 2023 edition of North Lancashire's community food magazine is all about regenerative enterprise.

THRIVE magazine title page

Learn more about regenerative enterprise and REconomy through some great local stories and ideas and inspiration from around the world.

Read the magazine free online and find out where you can pick up a copy.

PROJECTS FUNDED TO DATE

Four Seasons Allotments

Provide community access to space to grow and share fruit and vegetables, create raised beds, and run children’s activities.

Wildlife Wellbeing Walks CIC & Marsh Community Centre

Empowering young and old at the Marsh Community Centre to eat sustainably and connect with nature for health and wellbeing.

Local Food for Local People

Research and trial supplying Eggcup and partner food clubs by purchasing local crops, gleaning, growing food, and creating pre-made meals.

Filbert’s Too

Provide free bread and baking to food clubs, offer cooking and baking classes, and use ingredients otherwise going to waste.

Community Ground Up Project

Reinstate a vegetable patch, bringing community members into the outdoors, helping mental health, and building community knowledge about growing food.

Global Village Cafe @ The Cornerstone

The Global Village Cafe @ The Cornerstone – a weekly lunch club for asylum seekers and a community cafe welcoming everyone.

Sustainable Award Trophies – The Bay Film Festival

Work with community groups to collect plastic bottle tops for recycling into trophies for the first Bay Film Festival awards.

Costume Sequels – The Dukes Theatre

Sort, catalogue and store 300 items of costume belonging to the Dukes Theatre, making them available for free hire and use by community organisations and schools.

A Taste of Home – Global Link

Offer weekly food growing, preservation and cooking/recipe creation sessions for asylum seekers and refugees. Food growing will take place at Claver Hill, with the other sessions at the Global Link kitchen in Lancaster. At the end of the project, publish a recipe book showcasing the cuisine of their home countries created with locally sourced and grown ingredients.

 Craft Club – Escape2Make

Provide fortnightly free of charge craft and textiles workshops for 11-18 year olds. The workshops will involve sourcing and working with reused and sustainable materials, upcycling and mending clothing, and kitting/crocheting clothing for newborns, fiddle muffs for dementia patients, and hats and scarves for homeless people.

Reconnect, Reuse and Repurpose – EMUES UK CIC

Deliver practical community education sessions at Ridge Community Centre, teaching people how to repair, reuse and upcycle materials, particularly textiles, which would have otherwise gone to landfill. Through these workshops, encourage intergenerational working and improve community cohesion.

Growing Veg & People – West End Impact

Create a vegetable garden on derelict land in the West End of Morecambe. Build moveable raised planters, seats and benches. Provide planting and growing time every week, basic horticultural and nutrition education, and community events.

 Skerton Grow to Share – Skerton Community Association

Deliver a twenty-week young people-led gardening and growing project, clearing a piece of land owned by the community centre. The project will include clearing the ground for planting, working with the community to determine and implement the planting scheme, and the eventual picking of fruit and vegetables for use in the centre’s food access programme.

Plastic Bottle Top Project – Relic Plastic

Personally involve community members in a new initiative to transform a waste stream into valuable resources. Hold sorting parties where people learn about plastic types, waste and recycling into new products, at the Relic Plastic workshops and in schools, libraries and businesses. Place collection points in community locations.

Community Led Circular Economy – Gregson Community Association

Run Lancaster Give and Take Days at the Gregson Community Centre, where community members can bring items they don’t want and exchange them with others free of charge, keeping items in circulation and reducing waste. The project will purchase equipment and signage, recruit volunteers, and provide marketing support.

Re-create – Good Things Collective

Develop a means of monitoring creation of waste and evaluating circular use of resources in creative projects. Commission three creative projects which aim to close loops during their creation. Use the experience of these projects to share new creative assets and resources demonstrating how creative projects can contribute to a regenerative economy.

Where the Wildings Are – LESS CIC

Create rewilding projects on school grounds. Introduce food-growing spaces for school and community use, using the produce for school and community meals, promoting schools as outdoor horticulture hubs.

Creative West End

Mentoring and learning support for creative network members, helping them close loops in their work. Networking sessions, workshops and 1-1 advice dedicated to circular production and regenerative economy.

ABOUT CLOSING LOOPS

Closing Loops is a five-year £1.5 million project led by the FoodFutures partnership, and funded by The National Lottery Community Fund. Thanks to National Lottery players, it will support community-led action and local initiatives to transform waste into a valuable resource, aiming to stimulate a zero-waste, circular and regenerative local economy. As part of this, £300,000 in small grants will be available through the Pots of Possibility Fund.

National Lottery Community Fund and Pots of Possibility logos

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