FCC Communities Foundation to fund projects with landfill tax proceeds

The re-launched FCC Communities Foundation is seeking to fund exciting grassroots community projects across England and Scotland through the Landfill Communities Fund and Scottish Landfill Communities Fund.

Launched yesterday (1 May) under its new guise – FCC Communities Foundation was previously known as WREN – the not-for-profit environmental body will manage and distribute funding generated by waste management company FCC Environment through the Landfill Tax.

A proportion of the landfill tax can be set aside to fund community projects near to landfill sites.The name change is aimed to more closely associate the Foundation with FCC Environment as it chases greater funding for a range of community projects across the UK.

The Landfill Tax, introduced in 1996, is designed to push waste further up the waste hierarchy into alternative means of disposal such as recycling. It is collected from landfill site operators, with the costs of the tax passed on to users such as waste management companies or local authorities in the form of higher disposal prices.

A proportion of the tax (currently 6.8 per cent) can be diverted by landfill operators into the Landfill Communities Fund, where it is set aside to fund projects located within a 10-mile radius of active landfill sites. More than £1 billion has been spent on more than 32,000 projects across the UK since its introduction in 1996.

Since its inception in 1997 as WREN, FCC Communities Foundation has awarded over £250 million to projects as diverse as The National Centre for Writing based at Dragon Hall in Norwich, the redevelopment of Aberdeen Art Gallery and the War Horse project at Featherstone near Wakefield – which saw the installation of a sculpture as a memorial to the 353 servicemen from the town who lost their lives in the First World War.

Commenting on the re-launch, Gary Allen, Chairman of FCC Communities Foundation, said: “The launch of the rebranded business is an important step forward and is the final phase of an extensive programme of restructuring. It positions the company more directly in line with FCC Environment, who we manage and distribute funding on behalf of through the Landfill Communities Fund, something which can only be positive for both our businesses.”

Julie Fourcade, Head of External Affairs for FCC Environment, said: “As one of the UK’s leading waste and resource businesses, we seek to maximise the value of the material that we collect, recycling as much as we can. But it is a reality that for some materials, landfill is the only option and so we run a professional landfill business operating under license from the Environment Agency.

“FCC Communities Foundation allows us to, indirectly, give back to the communities in which we operate by funding worthy projects and demonstrating community value. To have the new company named so as to more closely align to our core business will only be a good thing.”

Simon Settle, General Manager of FCC Communities Foundation, added: “Today is an exciting day for everybody involved in the business and is the culmination of two years’ hard work. I hope that this is the beginning of a closer working relationship with FCC Environment and one that will see many more fantastic community projects awarded funding across England and Scotland over the years ahead.”

You can find out more about FCC Communities Foundation on the foundation’s website.