Unemployed and homeless people are set to benefit from a community farm and allotment patch in Northampton.
Land at Kingsthorpe Meadows has been donated on a long-term basis to the You Can Thrive’s HUGS (Helping You Grow Stronger) charity, from councillor Ifti-Khar Choudary (Con, Abington Ward), for growing organic produce.
Tony Rutter, director of You Can Thrive, said: “At the moment we are planting onions, chives and garlic on the land because that’s all we can do at this time of year but we are looking to bring some live stock here.
“The idea is that people can come here and get some work experience so when they go into interviews and they are asked about their extracurricular activities they can say they have gained team work and leadership skills doing this.”
Councillor Choudary said the group have been given a key to the land and can use it for the benefit of the community until planned A45 road widening scheme, which could be upwards of five years away.
He said: “All I want to do is see this project working with the community, for the community. It’s my way of saying thank you.”
Councillor Choudary said plans to build a 28-acre solar farm on the same site will not interfere with the community project and roughly 20 per cent of the land will be reserved for You Can Thrive’s HUGS.
Local residents have opposed the councillor’s plans following an auction battle, claiming a solar farm would be a ‘carbuncle’ on the land. Councillor Choudary, who won the auction, says 6ft edging and trees around the panels will mean they will not be unsightly to passersby.