It has been announced that the Local Authority Treescapes Fund (LATF) and the Urban Tree Challenge Fund (UTCF) will reopen for new applications early in 2023, with some significant improvements to the funds based on stakeholder feedback. Now in their third and fifth rounds respectively, the reopening of both funds will see trees planted in rural areas (for LATF), as well as in towns and cities nationwide. It represents another step forward in the Government’s drive to treble tree planting rates across England by the end of this Parliament.
In previous rounds, both funds had application windows, but from early 2023 they will now be open year-round to relieve pressure for applicants. In addition to this there have also been individual changes made to the funds.
An exciting development for round 3 of the LATF is that individual applications are now welcomed from Borough, District and City Councils, as well as County Councils, Unitary and Metropolitan Boroughs. Group applications from multiple local authorities are still strongly encouraged, as partnership working maximises the shared benefits for each partner, and groups will therefore score more highly and will be more likely to receive funding.
For UTCF, the recipient previously had to provide match funding of 50%, whereas when it reopens next year, the fund will now pay 80% of standard cost items (such as supply and plant standard tree), meaning recipients will only need to supply 20%. The menu of standard cost items have also been increased to include payment rates for planting in a range of surfaces and undertaking trial pits, and the older multiple funding thresholds for different sizes of grants have been removed (there is now only have a minimum application value of £10,000).
Read more about the changes and find out which fund is right for you in the new FC blog.