Council supports community allotment project

TO CELEBRATE the coronation of King Charles III an accessible allotment project, supported by Rother District Council, has been completed in Peasmarsh.

The district council and Peasmarsh Parish Council have worked together to develop the Coronation Garden, an accessible community allotment and garden.

The garden has been designed as an inclusive outdoor space for the whole community and is fully accessible for residents with disabilities, mobility, or health issues.

Following an approach from the parish council, the local authority’s Estates Maintenance team offered their expertise and resources to help ensure the project’s success.

The Estates Maintenance team designed the accessible allotment scheme which includes nine raised beds as well as carefully planned hard-standing pathways to ensure access to all areas around the planting areas.

Cllr Christine Bayliss, portfolio holder for regeneration and economic development at Rother District Council, said; “I am delighted we have been able to support Peasmarsh Parish Council with this wonderful community project. 

“This accessible community allotment scheme is an inspiring example of how collaboration and innovative thinking can lead to the creation of spaces that serve the diverse needs of a community.

“This project highlights the importance of local authorities working in tandem with their constituents to make their communities more accessible and welcoming for all.”

The Coronation Garden project has been made possible due to grant funding from Rother District Council, together with grants from Jempsons/NISA and N+P.

The district council supported the parish council with a successful application to authority’s Spaces Improvement Fund, with a grant for 50 per cent of the capital cost of the scheme awarded for the project.

Funding for the Spaces Improvement Fund is provided by the UK Government through the Rural England Shared Prosperity Fund to support projects in rural areas outside of Bexhill and the surrounding area.

The second round of funding from the Spaces Improvement Fund opens in February 2024, with £70,000 available to assist projects in rural areas across Rother.

A variety of initiatives such as community gardens or improvements to watercourses and embankments could benefit. All projects must demonstrate positive improvements for nature.

Capital grants of up to £20,000 can be applied for by local charities, community groups, Parish and Town Councils, and voluntary organisations.

Cllr Bayliss added: “The council’s Spaces Improvement Fund is a wonderful opportunity for rural community groups and organisations to access funding for schemes that boost green spaces and protect nature. This could be an existing project that needs a cash boost to make it a reality, or a new idea that is seeking funding support.

“I strongly encourage groups who wish to improve their local natural environment to check if they are eligible for a share of the second round of funding.”

For more information and to check eligibility, visit Rother Voluntary Action can provide guidance and support with applications to the scheme.

Published: 21st November 2023

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