MORE than £139,000 has been given to Swindon projects by Tesco's Bags of Help scheme and now the supermarket chain is inviting more groups to bid for a share of a huge funding pot.

Tesco is marking its centenary by putting up a £100,000 grant fund.

So far in Swindon, Bags of Help has awarded cash to 41 local projects including £2000 for Swindon and Wiltshire Pride, £1000 for British Red Cross to buy wheelchairs and £1000 for 18 local scout groups to buy archery equipment.

It also helped to establish the Hreod Burna Urban Forest , which received a £12,000 grant and was able to plant 350 trees.

Alec Brown, Tesco’s head of community, said: “In 2019 we are celebrating a century of delivering great value for our customers. And what better way to celebrate this occasion than by using our flagship community grant scheme Bags of Help to support even more groups and organisations who are helping to make a difference across Britain.”

The scheme will run in partnership with community charity Groundwork whose national chief executive, Graham Duxbury, said: “This is an exciting time for Bags of Help, with many more communities given the opportunity to apply for larger amounts of funding that can make a positive, long-lasting legacy where they live.

“We look forward to seeing a wide-range of innovative projects that boost the health and wellbeing of our communities spring to life across Britain.”

Throughout July and August the first of two special funding rounds will concentrate on groups delivering health and wellbeing benefits, with a particular focus on groups tackling cancer, heart disease and diabetes, in line with Tesco’s national health partnership.

Applications are open to all community projects bringing benefits across a region, with Tesco colleagues involved in shortlisting three applications in each area.

Customers are then invited to vote for which group they’d like to receive grants of £25,000, £15,000 and £10,000, casting their votes using blue tokens handed out at checkout points.

Another voting round will launch in November, with even more projects sharing in the cash over the course of the year.

The scheme is funded by the carrier bag charge which was introduced in 2015 in England after raising millions for good cases in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Anyone can nominate a project for Bags of Help and Bags of Help Centenary Grants, and organisations can visit