Food-growing programme serves up success

Communities across Aberdeen have been enjoying the fresh taste of success thanks to a pioneering food growing programme.

In March 2017, Aberdeen City Council allocated £145,000 to develop growing spaces for fruit and vegetables as way to promote green living and help tackle food poverty.

So far £129,000 has been awarded, shared among over a dozen projects.

The Community Food-growing Programme has delivered communal gardens, growing plots at primary schools, and even six bee hives in the city centre.

Councillor Marie Boulton, convener of the Capital Programme Committee, said: “The Community Food-growing Programme supports the Council’s Local Outcome Improvement Plan, bringing benefits ranging from healthy eating to social cohesion.

“It was also very much a factor in Aberdeen becoming the first city in Scotland to win a prestigious Sustainable Food Cities award this summer.

“The Council and community teams have worked in partnership to deliver the projects, and we're grateful for additional help from volunteers and the donation of items.

“As we continue to build the level of interest, confidence and skills of residents, the programme can only thrive.”

The next step is to investigate external funding opportunities to extend the Community Food-growing Programme, and report this to a meeting of the City Growth and Resources committee next year.

The programme has included the provision of a development officer from charity CFINE (Community Food Initiatives North East).

A Food-Growing Steering Group oversees the progress of the programme and the emerging food-growing strategy for Aberdeen: Granite City Growing.

Earlier this month the Capital Programme Committee agreed to award £6,000 to the Bonnymuir Green Community Trust, which has plans to turn a former bowling green into a sustainable market garden.