Tom Arthur MSP, Minister for Community Wealth and Public Finance, visited Grow Free Community Foundation on Wednesday 9th August to see first hand the impact of grants awarded to projects from Year 1 of the Just Transition PB Fund.
With the £4445 awarded following the public vote in Aberdeenshire, Grow Free Community Foundation purchased fencing materials and garden tools to start up community food forests on their site near Castle Fraser. The aim of the project is to develop bio-diverse food forests in order to create a sustainable permaculture design, helping to build knowledge and skills to cultivate, preserve and share a year-round local food supply.
Through the process of creating the community gardens and food forests, a number of Grow Free’s members are learning skills that support sustainable local food production. A by-product has been the development of local volunteer work parties and skill sharing for other sites and projects.
The project was one of several supported by the Just Transition PB fund during Year 1 which saw £1million distributed to groups in Aberdeen city, Aberdeenshire and Moray with the public voting on which green community projects they wanted to see funded.
On his visit to the Grow Free Community Foundation, Tom Arthur MSP met with co-founder, Emma Baxter, as well as representatives from Greener Kemnay, another local project supported by the fund. Also in attendance were team members from ACVO TSI, Aberdeenshire Voluntary Action and NESCAN Hub, the three organisations delivering the fund in partnership across Aberdeen City and Shire.
Speaking about the launch of the fund, Tom Arthur MSP said “From the early establishment of the Community Choices Fund to more recent PB initiatives, I am proud to see the progress and impact PB has made in enabling communities to have a direct influence on the services that matter most to them.
“As we continue to reflect on the outcomes of COP26 in Glasgow, I am delighted to see connections made between empowering local communities and creating greener, more sustainable places.”
As of writing, Year 2 of the Just Transition PB fund is open for applications with September 4th set as the deadline for submissions.
The Fund aims to empower the residents of Aberdeenshire, Aberdeen, and Moray by giving people a crucial role in shaping our just transition to a net-zero future in the North East of Scotland with £500,000 allocated this year to support green community projects in each of the three target regions. A public vote will follow in late September to allow residents to choose the projects which reflect their needs and priorities.
More information, and the online application forms, can be found at jtpbfund.scot/apply