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What is Grow Up?

Grow Up! is an East Hampshire-wide programme, funded by the UK Government, all about working with our communities, businesses, stakeholders and partners to provide opportunities for all of our residents. 

The vision for Grow Up! is to support and develop new and existing community-led projects in growing, planting, education, skills, biodiversity, seed swap and workshop events, farm visits, kitchen gardens and to support mental and physical wellbeing.

The programme will also deliver business support in the form of our Rural Business Network and employment support through work experience, volunteering opportunities and apprenticeships.

It will teach our children about food and where it comes from, the beautiful natural environment surrounding us and how to adapt to and prepare for climate change. It will bring together people of all ages from across the district to combat loneliness and help residents to make healthier lifestyle choices. Together, we can create something truly amazing, that draws people together and makes a lasting impact on people’s lives.

The project must deliver funding outcomes set out by the UK Shared Prosperity Fund and for any future funding and fulfil the aims of our corporate strategy:

  • a safer, healthier and more active East Hampshire supported by healthier and sustainable diet choices.
  • an environmentally aware and cleaner East Hampshire.
  • establish a network and collaborate with rural partners.
  • strengthen local pride in a thriving local economy through community-led infrastructure.
  • understand and fill skill gaps in rural industry by supporting young people into employment and delivering local jobs.
  • support local businesses and farmers through a rural business network.
  • increase self-worth and aspiration.

Where the money comes from

The Grow Up! programme is funded by the UK Government through the UKSPF.

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund provides £2.6 billion of funding for local investment by March 2025. The Fund aims to improve pride in place and increase life chances across the UK investing in communities and place, supporting local business, and people and skills.

Find out more on GOV.UK

Working in partnership

Grow Up! will be delivered through a partnership approach. This means we will work with local stakeholders and develop existing sites to deliver the programme. This enables the funding to have the biggest impact and bring organisations and residents together through a partnership invested in growing local initiatives and providing opportunities to local people.

Grow Up! projects

The funding is split across three years. Here’s how we’ve spent it so far and how we plan to spend it:

Year one

In year one we were allocated £64,000. 

We used this to launch our Rural Business Network, undertake a feasibility study, engage with stakeholders and develop a programme of work. Events run through our Rural Business Network include:

  • NFU Annual General Meeting – November 2022
  • Rural Business Network Launch event – January 2023
  • Get East Hants Green – March 2023

Year two

In year two, we were allocated £128,000.

We used this funding to run a series of events through our Rural Business Network:

We also supported and funded several community and growing projects: 

  • Green skills courses at Sustainability Centre
  • A new community composting project at Adhurst Allotment and Petersfield Community Garden 
  • Community tree planting and The Ancient Wisdom of Plants Intergenerational Workshop- tree planting, events and workshops at Butser Ancient Farm
  • A new community garden at Dimensions Childcare (Horndean Technology College)
  • Development of existing community gardening sites in Alton led by Alton Local Food Initiative 
  • A community garden, events and workshops in the Public Gardens led by Alton Town Council 
  • Planters at Alton Station Forecourt delivered in partnership with local community groups including Alton Station Adopters, Alton Local Food Initiative, Alton Climate Action Network and Cycle Alton
  • A Fruit Tree in every Garden - Led by Petersfield Climate Action Network, a district-wide project 
  • A Fruit Tree in every Garden - Led by Whitehill & Bordon Community Trust focusing on the GU35 area
  • Community Orchards at: St John’s Trust, Greatham; Grayshott Community Orchard; Lindford Parish Council 
  • Petersfield seed swap, workshops events held in Petersfield town centre led by Growing Together Podcast and Shine Radio
  • Alton seed swap
  • Hedge planting at Clanfield allotments 

Year three

We have been allocated £806,000 for year three. More information on these projects will be available shortly.

Rural Grants

In addition to the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, we have funding from DEFRA for £490,618 over two years from the Rural England Prosperity Fund (we call it Rural Grants). This fund is for East Hampshire businesses and community groups to apply for capital grant to support the rural business and infrastructure. 

In year one, we used our allocation to fund six projects totalling £193,576.84.

In year two, we have an allocation of £294,370 to spend on projects. 

More information, including when the next round of funding will be available can be found on our rural grants page