A disused former allotment in Wolverhampton will be brought back into use after the city council agreed to hand it over to a community group.
Management of the now derelict Goldthorn Hill Allotments, located on a triangular plot of land next to the Victorian grade II listed water pumping station, is transferring to a group of volunteers who are determined to bring it back to its former glory.
The land has become overgrown and a site of fly tipping after being closed for more than 20 years and requires extensive clearance work.
The recently formed Goldthorn Hill Pumping Station Allotment Society has initially been given responsibility for the site for two years, with a commitment to extend the lease for 25 years if the group achieve their goal of turning it back into a functioning allotment.
They will not be charged any rent for the site and handing it over to the community group will save taxpayers £5,000 a year in reduced fly tip removal and general upkeep costs.
Amanda Barrie, chairwoman of the allotment society, said that fundraising was already underway for the site, but cautioned it would take up to two years of hard work and help from more volunteers to clear it and turn it into a working allotment.
“It is quite a small site and we estimate there may only be room for 6 - 8 full size allotments, so we plan to offer half size plots so more people will be able to benefit from the site.
“We have also talked about a members’ shop for seeds etc and possibly a small tea room which would hope to be a community facility.
"We are really excited that the council has given us the go ahead to start work on this valuable local asset. We are looking forward to getting started and involving the wider local community in the project.
“Can I also thank our local councillors, Paul Birch and Jas Dehar, for their support and to the council for its patience."
Councillor Louise Miles, City of Wolverhampton Council’s cabinet member for resources, said:
“I know the local community will welcome this site being brought back into a productive use.
“These determined volunteers came to us to say they had a vision and a plan for the site and they produced a business case to show us what they intended to do. I wish them every success in turning this site back into a green oasis.”
The Goldthorn Hill Pumping Station Allotment Society has a Facebook group which anyone who is interested in getting involved with the project is encouraged to join.