Leyburn community garden gets financial boost

From left, Leith McRobert, Jeff Dickenson, Gill Aitkin, Chris Akrill and Councillor Karin Sedgwick.

A community garden has been given a welcome financial boost and now hopes to attract further volunteers.

Leyburn Arts & Community Centre isn’t just there for the arty side of life, they are an integral part of the town.

The community hub has been run from there since March 2020 along with a whole host of groups and projects for all ages including the community garden.

The community garden evolved when volunteers offered to help tidy up the quiet reflective retreat area behind St Peter and St Paul’s church which had become overgrown and neglected.

Two green-fingered volunteer groups from the centre and the church have now combined and are working together to improve the whole area.

Now the project has been given a grant from North Yorkshire Councillor Karin Sedgwick‘s locality budget to buy new tools, which the volunteers are already putting to good use.

Next up they intend to expand the project to incorporate a community shed and create a user-friendly garden area for more people to become involved in.

Art Centre spokesperson Jeannie Bishop said: “Our community garden is a constantly developing project. We are working alongside the Catholic Church next door and intend to develop a community shed.

“It evolved from a men’s shed idea which was curtailed by Covid and discussions with the Diocese to ensure the educational element of the original use of the area was still valid.

“Men’s sheds are a place for men to meet and pursue hobbies, or just relax in like-minded company. By being slightly more ambitious it was considered that a community shed would benefit  all genders and all ages.”

North Yorkshire county councillor Karin Sedgwick said: “ I am really happy to support this project as it gets people outdoors and working together in a safe environment.”

To volunteer for the community garden or any Leyburn Arts Centre role or project ring 01969 624510 or see their website www.leyburnartscentre.com.