A deprived housing estate is finally getting a council allotment – providing it can stump up £150,000. Residents in Ordsall, Salford, have long-wanted their own urban oasis to help their community to flourish. Now a five-year campaign is bearing fruit but – due to funding cuts – locals must dig deep to fund it themselves. Cash-strapped Salford council is handing over a patch of land at the centre of the estate and residents must apply to charities and national funding bodies to fund the next step. Tom McMullen, chair of the Ordsall Allotment Society, has led the campaign. He said: "I personally think it’s great for the estate.
Now that we are seeing a bit of light at the end of the tunnel it’s exciting. Our first application will be to the Big Lottery fund." Demand for Salford allotments is soaring, with a waiting list of around 700. But, owing to funding cuts, the council says that it cannot afford to create any more, and so hopes more communities will follow Ordsall’s example in setting up allotments. Its residents have been campaigning since 2004 to get an allotment site.
The council has now provisionally agreed that part of the former St Clement’s primary school site – at the heart of the estate – could be used. The allotment would include 20 individual plots and a number of areas for an orchard and community use. Tom now hopes that it ticks all the right boxes to get national funding. He said: "Not only is Ordsall a deprived area, but we have got the health benefits from growing your own food and we have even designed community beds where organisations such as the youth club or the local church or community cafe can have a bed and grow their things. We have disabled beds too. We are trying to cover every aspect." Tom added: "If you want something to happen you have to get up and do it yourself and just keep on at it." Coun Ray Mashiter, Salford city council lead member for environment said: "We recognised that there is a growing demand for allotments in the city and have found a suitable piece of land for the community to use. We will continue to support the group in finding funding to fully realise our joint plans for the allotments and we will help submitting bids and planning the site itself." Get a £500 Loan in 1 Hour
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