Photo gallery: Funding awards will help vegetable scheme, near Bungay, to grow
A community vegetable growing scheme in north Suffolk has been awarded two grants totalling more than �21,000 to help unemployed people and expand its work.
Greengrow, a workers' co-operative, has been running the scheme since February last year and has been awarded �13,000 from the Big Lottery Fund and �8,200 from Awards for All for their Growing Futures project.
Volunteer co-ordinator Becky Taylor said: 'This is very exciting. It will provide on-the-job training for volunteers, which we will be able to support through funding further courses for them.'
The lottery grant will be used to build a new irrigation pond and watering system, while the Awards for All grant will help with the construction of a new storage and packing facility and glasshouse.
This will allow the project to offer building experience and training opportunities to local unemployed people.
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The grants will also allow the scheme to expand the range of fruit and vegetables it produces and extend the season for the vegetable box scheme, which currently sells boxes near Bungay and in the Saints.
Keith Malcolm, a key worker for the co-operative, said: 'This spring was the driest in 110 years and the new rain-capture irrigation system will allow us to expand our vegetable production without increasing our carbon footprint.'
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The ultimate aim is to generate sales further afield in the Beccles, Bungay and Halesworth triangle.
Niki Stickells, housekeeper at Ringsfield Hall Eco-Centre, one of Greengrow's customers, said: 'It is important to us where we source our ingredients and to have local ingredients produced from a workers' co-operative is fantastic. It lightens our impact on the environment and some school groups who stay with us have visited the project to see where their food comes from.'
The scheme runs from land in Ilketshall St Andrew, where people can come and volunteer in return for vegetables and learning new skills.
For more information or to get involved visit greengrow.org.uk or call 01986 894452.
• To view an online photo gallery of Greengrow in action visit www.edp24.co.uk