The Urban Tree Challenge Fund (UTCF) has been developed in response to HM Treasury releasing £10 million in the 2018 Autumn Budget announcement for planting at least 20,000 large trees and 110,000 small trees in urban areas in England.
The UTCF will support a number of objectives in Defra’s 25 Year Environment Plan and also contribute towards meeting Government’s manifesto commitment to plant one million urban trees by 2022.
The fund is available for 2 years (2019/20 and 2020/2021) and applications must be submitted during an application window. In year one, the fund is open for block bids only. Individual applicants can submit an Expression of Interest to the Forestry Commission to state their interest and receive the latest up to date information on the fund before the opening of the year 2 application window. In year 2, the fund will be open for individual applications and, dependent on budget allocation, block bids too.
Block bids allow organisations to apply for funding for multiple projects under one application, which can be geographically dispersed across England or focused in a local area. Individual applications are aimed at smaller organisations or community groups who are looking to deliver much smaller scale projects.
The UTCF is open to anyone who wants to plant trees in urban or peri-urban areas as long, as you have full management control or consent to use the land for the duration of your agreement and your planting location is within an urban area.
The fund provides up to 50% of published standard costs for planting large and small trees and their establishment costs. The remaining funding must be met through match funding, either in the form of money or labour.