I had a meeting today with Groundwork North East at Marley Hill Community Centre where we are hoping to take over the unused land beside the building to turn into community gardens and allotments. The purpose of the meeting was to consider how we can use the site and kick start the process of carrying out a feasibility study, a must-have for future grant funding. Groundwork will carry out the study which also involves consultation with residents and possible future users about how the site could be used.
I have never known this land be used before. As long as I can remember, it has simply been there, occasionally getting the grass cut by the council. My guess is that it was used for allotments during WW2 but I have no evidence for that. I will however be asking older residents to delve into their memories and I'll be contacting the Sunniside History Society to ask them to take a lead on preparing a short history of the site.
Once the feasibility study has been carried out (and assuming it concludes that it is possible to go ahead with my ideas for gardens and allotments) work will begin. And so will the process of applying for funds to pay for it all.