Community groups in Nairn are invited to The Co-operative’s King Street store to find out more about how The Co-operative’s Local Fund can benefit good causes.
The Co-op’s Local Fund will provide a £750,000 funding boost across Scotland as the community retailer shares the money raised through carrier bag charges and sales in its food stores.
Representatives of good causes, community groups and projects locally can pop in to The Co-op between 2-4pm on Wednesday, 30 September, to speak to Co-operative Engagement Advisor, Stephen Kelly, to find out more about the scheme.
The community retailer is calling on local causes or community groups interested in “carrying” away a share of the Co-op Local Fund to apply online by Wednesday, 7 October.
It is envisaged that approaching 1,000 organisations and groups across Scotland will receive grants of between £200 and £2,500 from The Co-op Local Fund to make a difference in their community.
In addition to the 5p minimum charge on single-use bags, The Co-op has also pledged to go further and top-up the fund with proceeds from its entire range of carriers, including sales of its bags-for-life and its new woven reusable shopping bags.
Applications can be made until midnight on Wednesday, 7 October. Then, between 16 November and 11 December, the community retailer will give its hundreds of thousands of members in Scotland a chance to vote and have a say, from a shortlist of organisations, on how the fund will benefit local communities.
Michael Boylan, Area Manager for The Co-operative Food, said: “We hope to raise awareness and interest in the scheme to give as many community groups and good causes as possible a chance to apply for a share of the fund, money that will support their work and help them to make a difference locally. The Co-op is a community retailer with a strong heritage and commitment to the environment and to supporting its local communities and we are urging local causes to apply.
“The Co-op shares the aspiration of reducing the number of single-use carrier bags in use. It is also encouraging shoppers to further reduce their reliance on single-use carriers by donating profits from its reusable bags to good causes too. The money raised will enable organisations across Scotland to make a difference in their community - together, we will reduce, reuse, recycle, and reinvest in our communities.”
Iain Gulland, Chief Executive, Zero Waste Scotland said:
“Since the carrier bag charge came into force we have seen a huge reduction in single-use carrier bags in circulation in Scotland - around 150 million fewer last year alone. This has been a huge success with people changing their shopping habits to take re-usable bags with them.
“This scheme from The Co-op illustrates how the carrier bag charge is not only benefitting the environment, but it is also making a positive difference in the communities where the money has been raised.”
Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Food, and the Environment, Richard Lochhead, said:
“It is fantastic to see the carrier bag charge raising so much money for good causes, as well as achieving such drastic reductions in the number of single-use carrier bags being handed out in Scottish stores. I would like to commend The Co-operative for their support, and to encourage as many projects and local good causes as possible to apply in order for their communities to benefit from a share of the funds”.
The Co-operative has seen an 80% reduction in single-use carrier bags in circulation since the introduction of the charge.
For further information or to make an application visit www.co-oplocalfund.co.uk