The Wolves Lane Centre in Haringey and Organiclea's market garden site in Chingford have been awarded grants from the Good Growth Fund, which is investing £24 million across the capital in innovative projects which help Londoners shape the future of their local communities. This investment will enable the development of those two flagship food growing community spaces.
Wolves Lane Centre and Hawkwood Nursery will receive a combined investment of £1.2 million to help create new facilities which will be built using materials and construction techniques that have a radically low carbon footprint. Architects Pedro Gil and Paloma Gormley have created masterplans for both sites using principles of community empowerment and ecology.
The aim is to demonstrate a replicable model of community market gardens that can be drawn on for inspiration and learning across London. The buildings will provide a crucial example of low-impact construction techniques and materials that can be delivered at scale, which the construction industry urgently needs to adapt to in the face of the climate emergency. The new facilities will support the sites to thrive as vital pieces of community infrastructure, and set a powerful precedent for the integration of community and green space in London.
Yvonne Field said: "This is an amazing boost for Wolves Lane. The site comprises extensive glasshouses and open space which was transferred from the council to a consortium of community organisations in 2017, to develop community activities and market garden operations. Gradually the site and community-led activity is developing, and local volunteers have done incredible work to get solar panels installed and preserve the much-loved palmhouse, adapting it to a low-energy operation. Wolves Lane will benefit hugely from this new capital investment to replace and upgrade dilapidated facilities, and allow activities to expand providing more opportunities for people to be involved in volunteering, training and community enterprise, food growing, community markets, garden centre and much more."
Marlene Barrett from OrganicLea said: “Hawkwood Nursery in Chingford is a thriving market garden site with great biodiversity and a low carbon footprint. We have been running the site, the council's former plant nursery, since 2009. We're really thrilled that a new building at Hawkwood will provide expanded learning and volunteer opportunities, a model of radically low-impact construction, and a demonstration of how redundant council infrastructure can be brought back into productive and social use and deliver significant social impacts."