£6k grant to help allotment blossom

Jon Twelves and Richie Mitchell from Isos with project coordinator Sarah Askew , director Brooke Burgess, volunteer Helen McVay, and project officer Lucy Bell.

Jon Twelves and Richie Mitchell from Isos with project coordinator Sarah Askew , director Brooke Burgess, volunteer Helen McVay, and project officer Lucy Bell.

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A community allotment project is growing thanks to funding from a social landlord.

When regular charitable support was withdrawn from the Bedlington allotment, the team from Northumberland Community Enterprise who run the site made a funding application to the Isos ‘My Community’ fund.

The panel which administers the fund decided to make an award for 75 per cent of the allotment’s running costs, and now, in addition to the flowers, fruit and vegetables which are being produced, organisers are using the breathing space provided by the cash award to re-organise the venture and develop a more commercial approach.

Brooke Burgess, director of Northumberland Community Enterprise, said: “It has struggled for funding in recent years and without the support of Isos it would probably have folded.

“We now have schools coming along and adults from day centres and retirement schemes lending a hand, enjoying the experience and learning about horticulture.

“This has also opened the door to selling far more produce from the allotment, raising funds to help keep the project going.”

The Isos ‘My Community’ fund – established to provide support which helps communities to help themselves – provided £6,302 for the allotment.

Jon Twelves, from Isos, added: “This is exactly the kind of project the fund was set up to support.

“It is providing a valuable learning and recreational experience for local people and produce for the tables in local homes.

“I have been very impressed by what is being done in Bedlington and I feel sure the help we have been able to give will enable the allotment to become much more sustainable in the years ahead.”

To volunteer at the allotment call Brooke Burgess on (01670) 519575.