Pictured above: Earth Trust Centre
Earth Trust is thrilled to announce they have received a pledge for £1,000,000 of funding via the Government’s Local Growth Fund, secured by the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership [OxLEP].
The funding will enable the charity to commence work on their new Earth Lab and Innovation Hub buildings this spring. This forms part of a much larger innovative programme which will engage and inspire people to care for the environment. This first project will demonstrate sustainable construction, environmental education and support environmentally aware businesses through leading by example.
Earth Trust, an environmental learning charity, champions accessible natural green spaces for all. This funding will enable the charity to build a new, environmentally friendly education centre, Earth Lab and develop an existing barn into an Innovation Hub. The buildings will be located at the Earth Trust at the foot of the historic Wittenham Clumps in Oxfordshire. Work will begin in early 2020 and once completed will enable Earth Trust to further deliver its charitable objectives to involve people of all ages with the environment and climate change through access to natural green spaces.
Lee Ann Norris, Head of Fundraising at Earth Trust said: “We are extremely grateful to OxLEP for their outstanding support, and we are continuing to seek further funds to complete this vital first phase. We have received £1.43 million so far and need to raise a further £597,685 to complete the Earth Lab and Innovation Hub. This is an exciting time to be a part of the Earth Trust.”
Earth Lab will provide flexible classroom space enabling the Earth Trust to deliver STEM and art based environmental education, improving the skills and confidence of people of all ages. This development will offer significant opportunities to help bring people together, to discover what they can do to care for environmental ecosystems, vital for the future of our planet. Earth Lab will double the Earth Trust’s capacity to engage young people and provide opportunities for bringing environmental science to life throughout the curriculum.
The Innovation Hub will offer multi-use business units for sustainability conscious businesses as well as an inspiring welcome for visitors.
Interactive activities throughout will help visitors discover and explore the rich history of the surrounding landscape in new and relevant ways, whilst prompting people to consider their own role in ensuring we all benefit from healthy ecosystems. The result will be a generation that actively values and cares for their planet.
CEO Jayne Manley commented: “The funding award from the Local Growth Fund, secured by OxLEP, demonstrates that they support our vision for a better future for the environment in Oxfordshire, where people play a major role in determining the health of their local communities and our planet. We believe that the Earth Lab and the Innovation Hub will catalyse creative thinking and debate as we work together to address the enormous biodiversity and climate emergency challenges we face.”
Nigel Tipple – OxLEP Chief Executive – said: “The confirmation of such a significant project – that will have such a positive impact on our environment and the people that engage with it – is excellent news.”
He added: “We are delighted to have secured such a major Local Growth Fund allocation for Earth Trust and we are sure it can be real asset to Oxfordshire and our communities too.”
Since its inception in 2011, OxLEP – with its partners – has secured over £650m-worth of government funding for Oxfordshire, which has seen more than 50,000 new jobs created in the county to-date.
Construction of the Earth Lab and the Innovation Hub commences this Spring 2020.