Leeds community farm sets up crowdfunder

Kirkstall Valley Development Trust is seeking £20,000 to get the project up and running by the end of next year

A crowdfunder has been launched to set up a new community farm in Leeds.

Kirkstall Valley Development Trust has been granted a lease on a 16-acre site, where it plans to grow fresh veg for local residents. It will also host community and education projects for the whole of Kirkstall Valley, and offer allotment space for organic growers. Organisers hope to be gearing up for full production by the end of next year.

The project needs £20,000 for a tractor, equipment, polytunnels, green manure seed, toilets, a collection hut and social area, and to make the site secure. The trust is asking everyone in the city who supports the idea of a community run farm to chip in to their crowdfunder campaign at https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/kirkstall-valley-farm-start-up-funding.

The site, which has been farmed commercially since the 1950s, came available in 2017 after the death of its tenant. Kirkstall Valley Development Trust formed a steering group to develop a business plan. This saw Leeds City Council grant them a five-year lease beginning in April 2020, with the understanding that this will become a long lease if the project is successful.

Over the next 12 months the team will organise volunteers, prepare the land and build the essential structures on the site. From 2021, by asking veg box growers to pay their year’s veg in advance, it plans to aim for financial self-sufficiency as a community supported agriculture scheme.

It already has 170 registered volunteers / veg box buyers and people with proposals for funded social projects. For more details email touch with [email protected]

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