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Yorkshire communities receive £30,000 cash boost


Across Yorkshire 32 community groups are celebrating winning thousands of pounds from the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), as part of a new pilot programme designed to help grassroots gardening in the region. Another £30,000 will be available again next year.

More than 80 groups applied for grants from the charity to help fund local projects and the RHS Yorkshire in Bloom team have awarded three main projects up to £8,250 each* and a further 29 groups will receive funds of £300**.

The first flagship fund is going to Keyhouse Keighley (£5, 350), a charity supporting 5000 homeless people, to build a kitchen garden at the charity’s drop-in centre which is located in a deprived area with no access to growing space. The second significant share of funding will go towards training and to develop a partnership between Harris Road Allotment Society and Marlcliffe School, Sheffield (£8,060) to reap the health benefits of grow your own. Horton Community Farm, Bradford will receive £8,258 to help transform a derelict site into a community garden for local residents.

Sheffield-raised RHS Director General, Sue Biggs, said:

The overwhelming response we had from community groups applying for funds shows there’s a real hunger for improving public spaces in Yorkshire, which is absolutely fantastic. One of the key aims of the RHS is to support community gardening because of the significant difference it can make to people’s lives and livelihoods.

We’re so pleased with how this pilot project is going,” said Sue. “Now the funds have been allocated, it is up to the RHS to provide hands-on support and advice to these groups in the form of our amazingly passionate and knowledgeable team in Yorkshire – Libby Goodacre and Sarah-Jane Mason. It’s such a shame we couldn’t provide funds for every group who applied, but there’ll be another £30,000 available soon so watch this space!


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Brendan Mowforth, RHS Yorkshire in Bloom Chair, said:

We’re delighted that so many groups across Yorkshire will benefit from these funds. The smaller grants will help with the creation of new plant schemes so expect to see public spaces in towns like Scarborough blooming with glorious colour by summer. They will also help with the development of new school gardens in towns like Rotherham, Ripon and Hornsea. In Leeds, the money will enable the planting of 400 native trees.

Neglected land will be transformed into growing space in Harrogate, an allotment in Bradford will have a new irrigation system installed, a rose garden will be renovated in Sheffield, dozens of wildflower meadows are to be planted in towns like Harrogate and Scholes. Rotherham plan to beautify their town even more by building a raised bed for flowers. I think it’s safe to say that thanks to the amazing community spirit and civic pride seen in cities, towns and villages across Yorkshire, these funds will help make a tangible difference to this already beautiful part of the world.

Yorkshire and The Humber is the first region to benefit from this investment, which the RHS plans to roll out nationwide.

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The three main projects that will receive the biggest cuts of the fund are:


Keyhouse Keighley, Bradford Charity supporting 5000 homeless people (£5,350)

Funds will be used to design and build a kitchen garden at the charity’s drop-in centre which is in a deprived area with little or no growing space. The garden will be designed, developed and run by the homeless and people at risk of becoming homeless. This includes young people, teenage parents, homeless families, people with complex needs and refugees. The Charity has already developed an allotment on a bit of neglected land and the kitchen garden will act as extension to this which will help provide fresh produce for the canteen. The plan is to build a self-sustaining enterprise where produce will be sold. The kitchen garden will be used for social activity, mental health improvement, physical exercise and allow for skill development and learning opportunities.


Harris Road Allotment Society and Marlcliffe School, Sheffield (£8,060)

In partnership with a local RHS Campaign for School Gardening school and Sheffield City Council, the society has transformed a derelict piece of land into a thriving green space with 38 allotments. The fund will help fulfil a key objective of enhancing the learning experience for 450 pupils of Marlcliffe School by facilitating the creation of a polytunnel which will be used as an outdoor classroom to enable the children to learn about where their food comes from. The money will also be used transform the entrance to the allotment, from a wasteland to a community amenity by planting an edible hedgerow, fruit trees, herb and salad garden and a wildflower meadow. The society will also be able to plant a community orchard with the money and run training events for children and local residents.

Peter Morton, from Harris Road Allotment Society, said:

It looks like gardening will be on the curriculum from September 2014 so what a time to be building an outdoor classroom at Marlcliffe. This grant is going to bring the magic of growing to the lives of so many pupils, some of whom have no access to green space at home. It will also enable the society to develop a number of key projects too. Brilliant!


 Horton Community Farm, Bradford (£8,258)

Horton Community Farm is a newly established social enterprise located in the most deprived area of the Yorkshire and Humber region where the health and life expectancy of people is generally worse than the national average. It began as a vision to grow and provide local healthy food in the city of Bradford. The group are transforming a neglected council allotment site from a terrible state of underuse and dereliction into a community growing space, open to the public, which will be used to provide fresh local food, community gardening, education for adults and children, volunteer opportunities and social and therapeutic horticulture. The fund will allow for the setting-up of a community garden, which will be used to provide horticultural therapy for elderly people and adults in the locality with mental health issues, most of whom have no access to growing space.

Executive Directors of Horton Community Farm, Charlie Gray, Rory Argyle, Karen Huntley and Jonathan Pollard are delighted to receive the grant.

Karen Huntley said:

This grant will make a big difference to the lives of so many people. The site is being transformed from a state of near-dereliction into a thriving growing area. We can’t wait to start work on creating the community garden. Local residents of all ages will be able to learn about and access food growing in this garden. We are also very excited to have a specially designed area to use for our horticultural therapy programme. The whole community will benefit from this it’s fantastic.


Start-up funds of £300 allocated to 29 groups across Yorkshire:

  1.  Holmewood Executive (Bradford) – purchase and build 30ft by 14ft polytunnel for growing area for local community
  2. Churchwell Action Group (Leeds) – help bring to life a neglected woodland: repair paths, clear out streams, make a pond for wildlife, wildflower meadow, storage facility
  3. Spofforth in Bloom (Harrogate) – help clear debris and replace with sustainable plants and make area accessible for wheelchair users
  4. Haycroft Gardening Group (Grimsby) – put finishing touches to a litter-strewn neglected patch which residents have developed into a green community haven
  5. Welwick and Weeton Neighbourhood Watch Group (Welwick) – build wooden planters to plant up along main street by a war memorial
  6. Friends of Flanderwell School (Rotherham) – plant up raised beds so children can grow fruit and veg on a previously concreted area
  7. Wykeham and Ruston Millennium Group (Scarborough) – to plant bluebells, snowdrops, daffodils in wooded area alongside paths between 2 villages
  8. Brighter Boroughbridge and District (Boroughbridge) – transform overgrown site to plant new shrubs and bulbs and create bug hotels to generate insect activity
  9. Friends of Allerton Grange (Leeds) – help local residents plant 400 British native trees including Oak, Birch, Sweet Chesnut, Hawthorn, Hazel etc.
  10. Parents and Friends of Hornsea School (Hornsea) – bring neglected fruit orchard and pond to life to be an outdoor classroom by creating wildlife area
  11. Recovery Enterprises (Sheffield) – create a series of raised beds to grow plants, vegetables and fruit trees. To sell produce to local café and community
  12. Halton in Bloom (Leeds) – create a large planter for a shopping area in Halton to go with 50 hanging baskets, and a flower bed High Green in Bloom (Sheffield) – create a seating area and renovate a rose garden within the village park
  13. Freedom KDC (Doncaster) – create and develop a community space within a park and involve local residents to draw out of isolation
  14. Friends of Westways (Sheffield) – enhance and regenerate playgrounds by creating ‘Green Islands’ by reviving forgotten beds and planting new ones
  15. Scholes in Bloom (Leeds) – plough an area to create a wildflower meadow – project will bring pleasure to residents who are restricted in walking far
  16. Oughtibridge Village Community Association (Sheffield) – plant wild bulbs in various sites around the village to welcome visitors and residents
  17. Woodfield Millennium Green (High Birstwith) – plant new flower beds in area which team have regenerated
  18. Top Royd Allotment Association (Thornton, Bradford) – drain pathways alongside allotment site as currently large parts can’t be used after heavy rainfall
  19. Hellaby Gardening Group (Rotherham) – to create a large raised flower bed to beautify the village and enhance community spirit
  20. Skelton Newby Hall (Ripon) – to help regenerate a school garden
  21. Friends of Irton Village (Scarborough)
  22. Asian Men’s Health Group (Bradford) – develop a community garden to provide a relaxation space between a residential area and busy local shops
  23. Friends of Grosvenor Crescent (Scarborough) – regenerate a once beautiful garden – funds will pay for tools, insurance, litter pickers and jackets
  24.  Heeley Rise Tenants and Residential Association (Huddersfield)
  25. Friends of Highfields Community Orchard (Huddersfield) – put signs and notices up to educate residents about what is growing and when it’ll be ready to pick
  26. Friends of Holly Hag (Sheffield) – grow membership through marketing and publicity and to develop skills in volunteers ready for big plant
  27. Friends of Seamor Village (Scarborough) – enhance floral scene in village with daffodils, snowdrops and crocus
  28. Swinton Court Good Neighbour Association (Harrogate) – help complete a meadow / woodland area and plant fruit trees for less abled residents in tower blocks




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