United Utilities has awarded £300,000 to eight North West charities through a unique grant scheme that helps organisations to improve their local river and the land around it for the benefit of their local communities. Groundwork Greater Manchester and Groundwork Cheshire, Lancashire and Merseyside has collectively received over £100,000 for their work in the Irwell and Douglas catchments.
The CaST Account encourages partnership working, bringing different people, ideas and actions together to improve more than just water quality. Having trialled the approach with organisations in Lancashire and Cumbria and seen successes like phosphorous pollution reduction in the River Petteril, the water company rolled the project out across the North West and allowed organisations to bid for up to £50,000.
Two Groundwork trusts and six other charities have now received funds for their projects having demonstrated they will either encourage community engagement with nature or bring together different partners to maximise funding for schemes. Work on the various projects is expected to start over the coming months.
Groundwork Greater Manchester will focus on the River Irk and its brooks within Manchester, Oldham and Rochdale, engaging local communities and partners to co-design and deliver a yearlong programme of events, networking and training opportunities. The project will raise awareness of the river corridor, connecting more local people to it, and to each other, to create a Love Your River Irk network. Read more here.
Groundwork Cheshire, Lancashire, and Merseyside working alongside the Rivington Heritage Trust project will look to recruit and train 25 volunteers to begin conservation work at Lever Park in Rivington. This conservation work will involve both habitat and water improvements.