Gateshead Council Cabinet's agenda yesterday was extensive but one of the key items for me was the lease for Bill Quay Community Farm. I am the volunteer beekeeper and I also buy Tamworth pigs from the farm. Previously the farm was run by Gateshead Council but, as with community centres, budgets have been cut and the institutions are being transferred under leases to voluntary groups. The farm is now to have a 25 year lease at a peppercorn rent which will start on 1st July. The task the Bill Quay Farm Association is taking on is a huge one but there is every confidence that the future of the farm is secured.
Though my beekeeping activities at Bill Quay are known by some cabinet members, I mentioned in passing when the item was being debated that I also buy pigs from the farm. This brought a few amusing comments from cabinet members until I said the last one I bought went to slaughter over the weekend! We will use the pork at our Allotment Cafe at Marley Hill Community Centre this Sunday.
The journey the Council and the Farm travelled to get to the final outcome has been long and at times uncertain but the outcome is a good one. Congratulations to all concerned from both Bill Quay Farm and the Council.