A COMMUNITY garden has opened its gates to even more users with the installation of additional accessible equipment thanks to a generous £3,270 donation from the Banks Community Fund.
The grant from the Banks Community Fund has helped the Netherthird Community Development Garden to install new disability friendly play equipment.
The Netherthird Community garden has been used by locals for almost five years after extensive development.
Margaret Campbell, director at Netherthird Community Development Group, said: “It is really great that we have been able to make these improvement with the help of the grant from Banks Community Fund.
“Installing equal access play equipment and paths will mean even more of the local community are able to enjoy the garden, invoking a strong sense of community that really can be seen in the gardens.”
The garden is maintained and developed by 30 volunteers ranging from ages 8 to 80, some of whom are youth volunteers from Netherthird Community Action Training (NCAT). The youth volunteers work in the gardens has helped them to gain relevant experience as well as NVQs in horticulture.
A variety of different features are set in the gardens after the impressive work including a number of buildings: a café; toilet hut; tool shed; gazebo; and a classroom. Raised beds have been introduced for vegetables and flowers to be cultivated and sold with profits going back into the gardens.
Jeannie Kielty, community relations manager at Banks Renewables, said: “The Netherthird Community Garden is a great example of the kinds of projects we love to work with.
“Not only improving the appearance of the village but involving the whole community – it really is a great venture.”
The recent grant from the Banks Community Fund has expanded the range of equipment in the play area to include disabled friendly play equipment such as swings and new accessible paths have been created allowing for a local disability group and local school to make use of the garden.
Banks Renewables is the firm behind proposals for the Lethans wind farm which if approved would see 22 turbines installed in East Ayrshire providing 74.8MW of electricity. An estimated 40,300 homes will have their carbon emissions offset by Lethans wind farm if it goes ahead.
The Lethans wind farm would contribute approximately £8 million over the 25 year lifetime of the project towards community initiatives, through a community fund, in addition to a £250,000 investment towards the creation of mountain biking facilities with improved access to the site for cycling and walking.
As part of an ongoing period of consultation in 2015, Banks Renewables received over 400 letters of support from the local residents, with just one letter of objection.
Margaret Campbell added: “I would love for the wind farm to go ahead. The wind farm would benefit the community immensely.”
The Banks Group currently has several projects in development and two wind farms under construction in the South Scotland region, including the Middle Muir wind farm near Douglas and the Kype Muir Wind Farm near Strathaven. Both of these wind farms will have community funds established to support local community projects once they become operational by the end of 2018.
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