To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of the £40 million allocated to the Green Recovery Challenge Fund to support that fund achieve its objectives in relation to (a) safeguarding current conservation jobs, (b) creating new jobs and training opportunities and (c) rolling out new projects to restore nature; and if he will make a statement.
The Green Recovery Challenge Fund is part of the Government's wider green economic recovery, jobs and skills package. It brings forward funding for environmental charities and their partners to start work on projects across England to restore nature, tackle climate change and connect people with the natural environment.
I am very pleased that the fund has received a high-level of interest, and the Government has now confirmed that it will double the size of the fund by making an additional £40 million available. The projects funded will create and retain thousands of green jobs while delivering against the goals of the Government's 25 Year Environment Plan. We anticipate that we will be able to announce the first round of grant awards by the end of this year.