Wiltshire College & University Centre’s apple project has had its second windfall, securing funding from the National Lottery.
The Foundation Studies team is delighted to have received £6,959 from Awards for All so they can restore and develop an overgrown orchard at the Lackham campus.
Funding is given to organisations that bring people together and build relationships across communities as well as enable people to fulfil their potential.
Since the Apple Project launched in September 2017, staff and students have been collecting all of their apples from Roundway Orchard in Devizes.
They then discovered that Lackham had around 10 acres of land filled with apple trees which was not being used and applied for the funding in order to help them grow the project further.
With the apple season now well underway, Foundation Studies students from the Trowbridge, Chippenham and Lackham campuses have been picking apples from the orchard and bringing them back to the factory in Trowbridge where they are turning them into juice.
The apple factory opened its doors at the end of September and since then students and staff have been busily pressing apples four days a week. This was made possible by an initial grant of £17,000 by NUS EATS and was one of only nine student-led social enterprises to be successful in the UK.
Cath Giles, Deputy Head of Foundation Studies, said: “We are really thrilled to have secured this second amount of funding from Awards for All which means that we can restore the orchard back to its natural beauty and make sure that we continue to use and grow heritage apples.
“This money will allow us to fence off the whole area so that we can then start to work on it.
“As it is such a large area, we will work on sections at a time and will have livestock from the farm at Lackham to help maintain it.
“This is a huge project for us and will also be a lengthy one to restore it fully, but it’s very exciting and we have so many plans for the future.”