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First of town's new community gardens unveiled

volunteers from the Whinney Banks Community Garden

A call has been made for volunteers to join in with a newly developed community growing project.

Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston and volunteers unveiled the site at Trinity Methodist Church on Stainsby Road in Whinney Banks, which is the first of a number of community garden projects coming to the town.

It has been made possible through Middlesbrough Council’s Town’s Fund allocation and once created the gardens will be run by and for the local community.

The aim of the spaces is to bring local people together and educate them on healthy and sustainable food, how to grow and to provide produce for local eco shops.

The Whinney Banks community garden is based at the back of the church and has been developed over the past month and is fully accessible for people with disabilities.

Green-fingered Richard Cooper oversees the growing for the church. He said: “We want it to be a community facility and for people to think it’s theirs. I hope it’s something that is owned by the community in Whinney Banks and the wider area.”

Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston said: “This is the first community garden in a much bigger project to get growing food across the town. This one here is brilliant, it’s working with an existing project, updating it and upgrading it.

“This is going to evolve and what we want to do is involve the local community so if you live in the Whinney Banks area and would like to volunteer to plant stuff, look after stuff or harvest food get in touch or just turn up.”

Cllr Barrie Cooper, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Member for Environment, said: “It’s an excellent initiative to bring the community into the church and teach people how to grow their own food.”

Middlesbrough was allocated £21.9m in Government Towns Fund cash and in March this year the Council’s Executive agreed to put £1m into parks, play areas, community gardens and making Middlesbrough greener.

Community gardens promoting sustainable living will also be developed in North Ormesby, Easterside, Grove Hill, Nunthorpe and other areas still to be confirmed.

Anyone interested in volunteering at the Whinney Banks community garden should turn up at the Trinity Methodist Church on Stainsby Road, just off Acklam Road, on any Tuesday at 10am.