New community garden hub to be built on Northampton’s Racecourse is 1 of only 10 in country

The project will be used to grow food and as an educational facility for local groups and schools

Friday, 1st July 2022, 3:18 pm

Groundwork Northamptonshire will create a community garden hub at The Racecourse park, in partnership with the West Northamptonshire Council’s park ranger.

The Racecourse is one of only 10 areas selected nationally to have a funded ‘Green Team’ work on the space.

Nathan Wearn-Hutter, green projects manager at Groundwork Northamptonshire, said: “Local groups and the council have been desperate for something to be done with the area.”

The project will be used to grow food and as an educational facility for local groups.

The six-week project will see the creation of a growing hub, a mini fruit orchard, and communal seating for socialising.

People have been particularly calling for something to be done about the disused, stand-alone former Northampton Borough Council (NBC) building, located in the centre of the park.

After its completion, this building will be used by a number of local community groups and partner organisations, including the Park Ranger Team, the Umbrella Fair organisation, Friends of the Racecourse, Bosworth College, and Malcolm Arnold School.

It will then be utilised as a food growing and educational facility, complete with a wood workshop and potting shed.

People have been calling for something to be done about this stand-alone former Northampton Borough Council building.

Mr Wearn-Hutter added: “We want to leave The Racecourse’s park ranger with a usable space, along with other local groups that regularly use it.”

Though this is mainly aimed at those wanting to utilise the allotment, compost and wildflower areas, there will also be a bug hotel to introduce children to minibeasts.

The project is being funded by Segro, a property and development company looking to improve areas across the UK.

There are hopes there will be a minimum of 10 volunteers working on the project over the six weeks from July 18, alongside the ‘Green Team’, and they will be offered training opportunities.

This will include health and safety, carbon literacy, and practical landscaping skills.

“The more volunteers, the merrier,” Mr Wearn-Hutter added.

Recruitment for these volunteers is happening through the Northampton Job Centre, Moulton College, and Kingsley Park Residents Association.

The community garden hub will be the first of its kind at The Racecourse, and Groundwork Northamptonshire hope this project can be replicated in other green spaces.

Volunteering sessions will run from 9am to 3pm every Tuesday and Thursday from its start date. For more information, contact Nathan Wearn-Hutter on 07851248107.