The first community allotments to be created in Liverpool in decades has been officially opened .
Part of the Parkhill Recreation Ground in Dingle has been transformed into plots in which local people are growing their own food.
The development will see 28 plots in the first phase with space for a further 30 to be developed as the site becomes more established. There is also the potential for full plots to be dived into half plots, meaning many more residents will be able to apply for a space. The plots are constructed on raised planters and the site has a central hub with storage space and car parking
Councillor Ann O’Byrne, the Deputy Mayor of Liverpool officially opened the allotment site on Saturday 20 June.
Councillor Steve Munby, cabinet member for neighbourhoods, said: “Already these allotments are proving extremely popular. About 30 local people have started growing potatoes, onions, carrots, beans, courgettes and a lot more.
“And there is a lot of interest from others who want to have plots there – even from some of those who were very sceptical about the idea!
“It is something that this area really wanted-a disused piece of land which was a magnet for anti-social behaviour is now being put into productive use and bringing the community together.
Jean Smith, chair of the allotments committee, said: “I am delighted to be an integral part of this new, and exciting project in Liverpool 8, the first new allotment for 70 years in the city
“I would like to thank all involved, especially Alan Morrow from the city council’s Open Spaces, who has been there for us every step of the way.”
And allotment holder Michelle Conroy said; “Although we have only been open for two months, we are already building a real sense of community on the site. A lot of the plot holders have never had the opportunity to grow their own produce and flowers as they don’t have access to a garden at home.
“We are learning how to grow plants together. These allotments are our gardens, we already have a sense of pride in what we are growing and can’t wait until we can harvest our own food.”
The allotments site replaced one in Long Lane, Fazakerley, which had become overgrown and not been used for allotments since 1988. It is now the location for the Redbridge Bank View School.
Funding for the Parkhill allotments was provided through the School Investment Programme – £75,000 – with £33,000 contributions from planning obligations for development in Duke Street and Henry Street.
Work on some of the plots was carried out by apprentices from Glendale Livepool with further plots being created by INES (Plus Dane) and Jigsaw (LHT). Free labour was provided by all the firms.