Votes in to support greenspaces in East Lothian

Hundreds of thousands of Tesco customers in Scotland have voted to help community groups benefit from a share of a £11.5million carrier bag charge fund. Over eight million votes were cast across the UK with almost one million coming from Scotland alone.

The supermarket teamed up with greenspace scotland to launch its Bags of Help initiative, which sees grants of £12,000, £10,000 and £8,000 – all raised from the 5p bag levy – being awarded to environmental and greenspace projects.

Around £1.4 million will now be distributed to 144 projects across 48 Scottish regions from the Shetland Islands to Gretna in the Borders as a result of the scheme.

The results were announced on 17 March and the groups will now use their award to bring their projects to life and transform their community. The final award winners can now be seen on a map of successful projects, http://bit.ly/scotbagsmap1 and include three East Lothian organisations:

Prestonpans Primary School – Playground improvement, £12,000

Flourish Garden Therapy – Dementia Friendly Garden, £10,000

Volunteer Development East Lothian – Strive Wellbeing – Natural Connections, £8,000
Tony McElroy, Tesco’s Head of Communications in Scotland, said: “We have been overwhelmed by the response of our customers to the Bags of Help initiative. A total of 144 groups across Scotland will now be awarded substantial grants to bring their projects to life. From new play parks and play grounds to sensory gardens and sports field refurbishments – so many wonderful schemes will now have the opportunity to become a reality. The awarding of the grants is only the first step in the process and we can’t wait to see the progress over the coming weeks and months.”  

Applications for the next round of the initiative will open on the 18th April so we hope to hear from lots more groups across the country who want to bag a share of the fund. To find out more http://bit.ly/bagsofhelp2

Voting ran in stores from 27 February until 6 March – with customers choosing which local project they’d like to get the top award using a token given to them at the check-out in store.

Emma Halliday, Community Enabler Co-ordinator at greenspace scotland, said: “We have been delighted to have been involved in the Bags of Help initiative. It has been wonderful to follow the projects through the application process to the final announcement.

This is money which will go directly back into the communities up and down the country creating places to meet people, grow food, be active, play or simply relax. This initiative is really putting something back into the local environment, transforming greenspaces and helping the community at a grass-roots level.”

Applications for the next round of Bags of Help funding will open on April 18. As well as applying direct, suggestions for projects and sites can also be nominated by people living locally. For more info http://bit.ly/bagsofhelp2

Ongoing project updates will be available on Twitter via @tesco_scotland @greenspacescot #BagsofHelp