Plaid Cymru Bangor is delighted that the community allotment, garden and orchard at Nantporth near the city’s football ground has secured funding to move on to the next phase of its development, which begins this weekend.
Over £10,000 has been secured from the Welsh Government to create a community orchard and at least 30 allotment plots for local people to grow fresh healthy food, on their own doorstep.
Social Farms and Gardens received funding from Welsh Government to support the creation of 25 new community orchards across Wales, with the Bangor site being a key beneficiary.
“This is great news for the community, especially as the volunteers from Rhandiroedd Nantporth Allotments, with assistance from us as Councillors, have applied for a number of funding options, without success in the past,” said Menai Ward Councillor, Mair Rowlands.
“It has been a long haul, pushing for this development to take off, and we are now at an important juncture, where we will soon see action and progress taking place on site,” explained Councillor Elin Walker Jones,who represents Glyder residents on Gwynedd Council.
Rhandiroedd Nantporth Allotments CIO (formed by a community group known as Tyfu) was granted planning permission from Gwynedd Council who own the site, following a successful fundraising appeal amongst the group’s supporters. The local authority has agreed to provide the lease for the former agricultural land at Caergybi Road to Rhandiroedd Nantporth Allotments.
Work has begun to prepare the site for the creation of specific areas, planting and growing. Members of the public are encouraged to participate and assist with the planting of the orchard and hedgerow this coming weekend, Sunday, 29 of November whilst adhering to physical distancing measures currently in place.
To take part, please book a slot to keep within the number limits allocated. All the information is available here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/plannu-perllannau-nantporth-orchard-planting-tickets-128791088613
The work, paid for through Social Farms and Gardens, includes the purchase of fruit trees, hedging plants, a storage shed plus an environmentally friendly compost toilet.
Gwen Thomas, a committee member who has been instrumental in moving the project forward said: “We are thrilled that funding is now in place, and work will soon be allowed to begin at Rhandiroedd Nantporth Allotments. Our work for a venture of this kind has been ongoing for many years and there is real appetite for a green space where people can socialise at a distance, exercise in the fresh air and create sustainable food.
“We are grateful to Councillors Mair Rowlands and Elin Walker Jones for their wonderful support over many years and to Councillor Catrin Wager who has driven Gwynedd Council forward to confirming the lease for the land.”
Lisa Mundle, Director of Rhandiroedd Nantporth Allotments said: “I am so pleased and excited that this dream is now becoming a reality after all these years. It will greatly enhance the resilience of our local community during adverse events as we have experienced over these past few months.
“I would like to thank everyone on the committee for their perseverance with the project, our supporters in the local community and our local councillors, without whom, many an obstacle would have seemed unsurmountable. Diolch i chi gyd!”
“This pandemic has shown that planting and growing in our gardens has had a huge beneficial effect on the health and well-being of people during the Covid19 restrictions,” said Cllr Mair Rowlands.
“Working in the great outdoors, surrounded by plants, flowers and wildlife has long term benefits for families and individuals.
Sarah Collick from Social Farms and Gardens said: “As a UK wide community growing charity, we are delighted to support the group at Nantporth, and we are keen to support more new allotment sites in the Gwynedd area, as well as Wrexham and Swansea. Details of a small grant scheme has recently been announced, so we’d encourage people to visit our website for more information.”
Menai Ward Councillor, Catrin Wager said: “There were over 100 expressions of interest in acquiring an allotment here when the project first began. Individuals have contributed financially to the development of the scheme, a testament to the strong local support.
“Now all the pieces are in place to make it happen, and work will soon begin on this fantastic project. It will bring environmental and social benefits to the people of Bangor and beyond.”
Cllr Elin Walker Jones concluded by saying: “Here in Bangor, a busy city, green community spaces are few and far between. Creating this area where people can return to working the soil, growing food, attracting wildlife and planning a community orchard where people can come to sit and relax, will have many benefits. We now look forward to seeing the first steps of this exciting project take off.”
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