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New funds for London fruit and vegetable patches


4th December, 2009

Londoners are to be further encouraged to grow their own food on disused land

London Mayor Boris Johnson has launched a new fund to encourage Londoners to grow fruit and vegetables on redundant patches of land in the capital.

The £150,000 fund is part of the Capital Growth Scheme, which aims to create 2,012 growing spaces in disused parts of the city by 2012.

So far, over 150 plots have benefited from grants, including schools, roofs, private gardens open to the public, and canal banks.

Boris Johnson said that more underused land should be used in this way.

‘Lush patches of fruit and veg are springing up around the city thanks to Capital Growth.  This helps to make our urban environment far more pleasant and provides a cheap, fun way to grow food,’ he said.

Tube to garden

It was also announced that Transport for London (TfL) has signed up to the scheme by providing a brownfield site above Southwark Tube Station where residents from local flats will be able to grow their own food. 

London Underground Chief Operating Officer, Howard Collins said it was part of TfL’s commitment to making London a better place to live.

‘We support the scheme as we believe that it is a perfect way to improve Londoners' access to nutritious food while maintaining and enhancing London’s green spaces. With more and more people keen to get their hands dirty, we hope plenty of other organisations in London will join us and get growing,’ he said. 

Capital Growth was launched last year by Rosie Boycott, the Mayor’s ‘food tzar’, and is managed by London Food Link and environment charity Sustain. 

It offers small grants fund of between £200-£1,500 to anyone who wants to create a new community food growing space.

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