The Serpentine Community Garden has finally signed a 25-year lease with High Peak Borough Council after years of discussions. And the project has also been awarded £95,914 from the National Lottery Community Fund to support projects for three years.
Madeline Hall, project director at the community garden, said: "This is just fabulous news.
"Signing the lease gives us security going forward and the money will help us to achieve our aims.”
Serpentine Community Farm is a community growing space in the centre of Buxton, run by volunteers on the site of the council’s former plant nursery at Serpentine Walks.
Five years ago the site was under threat as landowners High Peak Borough Council said it was facing ‘significant financial challenges’ and was looking at the possible sale of some council assets including the community garden.
Since then campaigners have fought to save the land and it has grown to now offer a wide range of services.
The grant money will now pay for the building to have electricity and cooking facilities, replacing the barbecue currently used by the volunteers.
It will also pay the salaries for staff instead of having to rely on unpaid volunteers, support a community arts project, help to expand the Growing Well scheme and allow the garden to expand its opening hours.
Madeline said: “Growing Well is working with Stewart Medical Centre and helps people with depression where drugs or medicine won’t work but a chance to get outside and be part of something meaningful helps.
"We did a trail program before but having the funding to make it a more regular part of our calendar is very exciting and will help so many people.”
Madeline said both the lease and the funding was good news for the town and will help to create a working green space that champions and supports sustainable living in all its forms, provided by the people in the community.
She added: “Long term we will work to ensure Serpentine Community Garden will continue to grow and diversify, embedded in the local community and developing strong partnerships with regional and national organisations to deliver projects that help create a greener, healthier Buxton and contribute to boosting the local economy.”