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£30k scheme launched looking for future food growers

Joint initiative between Carnegie UK Trust , Plunkett Foundation and the Land Settlement Association Charitable Trust.

A new £30k pilot scheme aimed at encouraging enterprise in the food growing industry and providing people across the UK and Ireland with the opportunity to create a sustainable livelihood has been launched.

The joint ‘Growing Livelihoods’ initiative between philanthropic organisation, Carnegie UK Trust, the Plunkett Foundation and the Land Settlement Association Charitable Trust (LSACT), builds on the pioneering 1934 Land Settlement Association scheme. The scheme which ran for a period of 50 years, was a network of smallholdings to provide new entrants, including the long term unemployed, with the opportunity for a career in food growing

The year-long pilot scheme will work to create new opportunities through co-operative approaches and encourage entrepreneurialism in local food growing amongst young people, those looking to try a new career direction and those new to the sector. It will also look to help people to develop skills relevant to running a smaller-scale food growing business.

Kirsty Tait, from the Carnegie UK Trust, said: “We are delighted to launch the Growing Livelihoods pilot scheme this week. As an organisation that was heavily involved in the creation of the Land Settlement Association in the 1930s, we are interested at looking at ways that this type of approach, which was successful for 50 years, can be developed today.”

Although the community food sector has grown significantly in the last decade, agricultural co-operatives account for less than 10% of the UK market. Despite this, they are a proven farming and growing model and account for more than 40% of EU agriculture.

Mike Perry from the Plunkett Foundation, said: “We’ve seen how working together was able to improve the livelihoods of small scale food growers with the original Land Settlement Association scheme.  It is exciting that this year we will be working with modern food growers to help them explore how co-operation can help achieve sustainable livelihoods in small scale horticulture.  We would welcome hearing from a range of people telling us how co-operation can work for smaller scale food growers – do get in touch.”

The Growing Livelihoods pilot scheme will provide advice, support and small scale grants over a one year period. To apply to take part in the Growing Livelihoods project or to find out more, please visit

A short video about the project can be watched here:

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