Rundown allotments transformed into community plot

Official opening of the Groundwork North East Community Allotment Project at Summerball Allotments, Marley Pots, Sunderland,  by Coun Richard Bell.
Official opening of the Groundwork North East Community Allotment Project at Summerball Allotments, Marley Pots, Sunderland, by Coun Richard Bell.
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VOLUNTEERS are celebrating after transforming a run-down allotments site on Wearside.

Summerbell Allotments Community Garden, in Marley Pots, aims to provide a much-needed green space for the area.

Groundwork North East staff joined forces with volunteers to renovate derelict allotment plots at the site, as well as get rid of fly-tipped waste and other rubbish.

Cash for the garden came from Sunderland City Council’s Strategic Initiative Budget and the Community Foundation.

It is now hoped that growing healthy produce at the garden will help improve the diets of people living in the area.

As part of the programme, training was given to young people, with three nine-month Future Job Fund placements created.

Claire Hutchinson, senior project officer at Groundwork North East, said: “Working on the scheme has been great and we couldn’t have got the gardens completed without the help of all the volunteers.

“Special thanks go to Mark Simpson and the Community Payback Team at Sunderland Youth Offending Service, Keith Gilmaney and the Prince’s Trust and Adam Gawne and the Sunderland University student volunteers – well done and thank you.

“Now that the gardens are complete and officially open we are looking forward to a summer of working with local residents, groups and schools to start growing and eating our produce.

“We are also looking to organise a vegetable competition and a harvest festival later on in the year.”

Coun Richard Bell, pictured right, chairman of the city council’s North Area Committee, said: “The hard work which has gone into this new community garden has really been worthwhile because everyone who has pitched in has done a fantastic job.”

For more about the community allotment at Summerbell contact Claire on 567 2550.

Twitter: @davidallison88