Mayor announces £600,000 for Enfield council’s market garden project
The Mayor has announced £600,000 has been awarded to Enfield Council to support the development of an ambitious project to resurrect the borough's food growing heritage with the potential to support an estimated 1200 jobs.
The project was selected in recognition of its plans to massively increase the amount of food grown in Enfield, create new jobs and potentially pave the way for larger scale production of salad crops. The £600,000 comes from the Mayor's £70million regeneration fund which aims to create jobs and promote economic growth.
Enfield Council's market gardening project aims to build on Enfield and the Lee Valley's food growing heritage and help create around 1,200 jobs by growing, processing and marketing food from the local area. The market garden aims to start by developing a cooperative growing model this year where residents, community groups and other organisations work with the council to grow their own produce and will increase land area for food growing year on year, and explore avenues for selling of crops locally and commercially. In addition, the project is set to establish a centre of excellence for food growing and technology; establish an organic food box scheme and provide training to teachers, parents, pupils and site managers so they can use spare parcels of land for growing fruit and vegetables with a view to selling seasonal fruits and vegetables to the public at pop-up stalls.
Employers will also be approached to offer work experience placements to secondary school students in the horticulture industry and will work with allotment holders to redistribute excess produce. The project also aims to establish food growing projects in 10 primary and five secondary schools over the next two years benefiting around 300 children. There will also be opportunities to create apprenticeships and provide volunteering opportunities.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: "My regeneration fund is targeting innovative projects that will drive growth and prosperity. Enfield's market garden fits the bill as a bold and ambitious initiative which is set to reap a range of economic and social benefits. Local people will have ready access to fresh food grown on their doorstep, knowing that it is creating jobs, apprenticeships and volunteering opportunities in the area."
Enfield Council's Cabinet Member for Business and Regeneration, Cllr Del Goddard, said: "We want people to help us rediscover the borough's food producing heritage to turn Enfield into a large scale food producer, both at a community level but also ultimately on a borough wide scale.
"This welcome investment will help us create jobs, provide food locally, diversify the borough's economy and encourage residents to produce their own food. We are sowing the seeds to enable us to produce healthy, wholesome, sustainable local food rather than relying on produce which is transported into the borough from around the world."
"This exciting Neighbourhood Regeneration project is part of the Enfield 2020 Sustainability Programme, helping to make Enfield a better place to live, work and visit. It supports local jobs and businesses, increases the production of locally grown food for commercial purposes, reduces food miles and improves our local environment. It also engages local school children, providing a truly joined up approach that benefits everyone."
Manufacturing in the food and drink sector has increased in Enfield over the past 20 years, accounting for 1 in 3 jobs and the borough is home to Wright's Flour Mill, Warburton's Bakery, Coca Cola, Greggs, Snowbird Foods and Hoo Hing. Enfield Council owns 3,500 acres of farm land and the borough historically supplied Covent Garden.
Notes to editors
• In August 2011, following the unprecedented disturbances across London, the Mayor announced £70 million towards major long term improvements to the damaged town centres and high streets. The fund is focused both on the areas which were worst affected, and where there is potential to drive growth and prosperity.
For more information, visit: www.london.gov.uk/priorities/regeneration/mayors-regeneration-fund • To find out more about Enfield 2020 please visit www.enfield.gov.uk/enfield2020