Communigrow lands lease deal

Property Posted 23/11/18
A horticultural charity committed to helping young people reconnect with where the food they eat comes from has been given a helping hand by East Malling Trust.

Communigrow, based on the East Malling estate since 2011, is to relocate to a new 2.4 acre plot on the site after East Malling Trust granted a 10 year lease on the land.

With greater certainty over its future, Communigrow will now be better placed to apply for Lottery funding and also make bids to other charities to support its work with the local community and to promote sustainable food production.

Communigrow’s 11-strong team of volunteers and four paid part-time staff successfully operate a chemical-free veg-box scheme and have developed strong links with a number of local schools, farmers markets, pubs, lunch clubs and cafes.

Helen Turner, secretary of Communigrow, said: “Our work is about educating people on how to grow and enjoy fresh local produce. Thanks to East Malling Trust we now have a very manageable site and their team has kindly helped relocate our two polytunnels.

“Our school students, who have a range of learning and behavioural disabilities, have already started helping us with the move and are enjoying being on the new site.

“Giving people the opportunity to get out into the fresh air and cultivate crops which they then eat is great for their health and well-being. We aim to support the environment and wildlife by using sustainable methods to cultivate our produce.”

Sally Flanagan, executive director of East Malling Trust, said: “It’s been great to see how Communigrow has successfully reached out to our local community and we’re delighted to now offer them a long-term future on the estate.”

Communigrow is eager to add to its team of volunteers and would welcome help preparing its site and buildings for the coming season.

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