Allotment flushed thanks to new loo

Allotment Association treasurer Fen Rice and (right) secretary Bertie Sexton with Jeannie Kielty, development relations coordinator at The Banks Group.
Allotment Association treasurer Fen Rice and (right) secretary Bertie Sexton with Jeannie Kielty, development relations coordinator at The Banks Group.
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A four figure grant has come as a great relief to green-fingered residents in a south east Northumberland village.

Members of the Pegswood Allotment Association now have access to an on-site toilet for the first time after a £5,000 grant from The Banks Group, via its Banks Community Fund, took them past the amount they needed to buy and install it.

The new toilet is waterless, odourless, requires no access to sewerage or electricity, and is accessible to disabled users.

And as well as being accessible to any of the 150 garden tenants who make up the association, the new facilities are also open to both local people and visitors who are travelling the two well-used public footpaths that run through the area.

Bertie Sexton, chair of the allotment association, said: “This is an increasingly well used of the area that benefits everyone in all sorts of ways – as well as offering a place to grow your own food and enjoy time in the open air, we often get passers-by stopping to see what we’re growing and to talk to the gardeners on site, which can only be good for community relations.

“The clearance work we’ve done so far has made a big difference to the area, and there’s a real enthusiasm amongst those involved for making the allotments as welcoming and productive as we can.

“Up until now, the closest toilets to the allotment have been at the Miners’ Welfare, but they’re not always available, and we’ve been looking at how we make these much-needed facilities available on site.

“Having easy access to toilet means we’re all able to spend more time here getting on with our various tasks.”

Mark Dowdall, environment and community director at The Banks Groups, added: “The donation we’ve made to help them bring in these new facilities is a well-deserved reward for everything they’re achieving.”