A PROJECT which will bring jobs and a new way for local people to grow their own food is sprouting thanks to lottery funding. The community food project in Ross has been awarded nearly £95,000 in funding from Local Food, a £57.5 million programme supported by the Big Lottery Fund, which provides funding for projects working to make local food more accessible and affordable to communities.
The Sir Grow-A-Lot project, run by the EnviroAbility charity, will allow local people to hire an area of land to grow their own produce for personal or mini-enterprise use as part of a 5.5 acre scheme.
Disadvantaged groups of people will benefit from training opportunities, which will help to develop awareness of healthy local produce as well as cutting weekly spend on groceries.
Members will be able to take advantage of the established Model Farm Society co-operative, which will provide an opportunity to sell their produce through an existing retail delivery and veg box scheme as well as a farm shop.
Funding will enable three part time posts to be created to help the project run smoothly. The project Co-ordinator will soon be appointed and the remaining two posts of growing assistance will follow in the next growing season. The funds will also pay for the construction of a Community Cabin where members, trainees and volunteers can meet and share experiences.
Dennis Humble, EnviroAbility. General Manager, said: "This is really good news and a boost for the town and community. I must say, the support and encouragement we have had from individuals, organisations and local companies in the development of this concept has been very encouraging. We are now at the exciting point of helping the project grow and take root in the community. Anyone wanting to join the project team please do contact me to find out more."
Mark Wheddon, Local Food Programme Manager, said: "Projects like this have a wide and lasting impact on the community and we are delighted to support them. Our scheme is about promoting the benefits of locally-grown food, and this project demonstrates how these can stretch beyond just healthy eating to educating people about the benefits of growing their own food and giving them to confidence to try something new."