Cash Boost To Help Bradford Residents Grow Their Own

Friday 27 June 2014

National Gardens Scheme and Royal Horticultural Society provide funding for a much needed urban growing space

Horton Community Farm Co-operative in West Yorkshire is celebrating after receiving funds from the National Gardens Scheme (NGS) and Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) to create an urban ‘micro-plot’ for the local community to grow their own healthy food.

The ‘micro-plot growing area’, which will form part of the regeneration of a neglected inner-city allotment site will be made up of small growing plots and a composting area.

The project, made possible by a bursary of more than £3,000 from the gardening charities, will provide local residents and community groups with a much needed space to grow their own produce and enjoy the range of social and emotional benefits gardening brings.

The Elspeth Thompson Bursary, which was named after a celebrated garden writer who died in 2010, will be used to buy the materials needed to bring the project to life. Members of the community farm are confident that the micro-plot will have a positive impact on the area, providing locals with a pleasant place to relax, socialise and learn new skills. Residents will also be motivated to lead healthier lives as they manage the plots and eat the produce they grow.

The completion of the project will be marked by the unveiling of a special commemorative plaque to acknowledge the work done by Horton Community Farm Co-operative and celebrate the legacy of Elspeth Thompson.

Karen Huntley, from the Horton Community Farm Co-operative, said: “We are delighted to receive funds from the Elspeth Thompson Bursary to build our micro-plot growing area. The funds awarded will cover the majority of the set-up costs for this area as well as seeds for the first season. We aim to regenerate a patch of land, which prior to becoming part of Horton Community Farm, had been neglected for many years.
“The micro-plots will provide local people with much-needed, easily manageable food growing space. Local people are enthusiastic about the plans for the area and are looking forward to growing food at Horton Community Farm”

Jim Gardiner, Executive Vice-President at the RHS, said: “The RHS exists to share the great benefits of gardens and gardening with people of all ages and backgrounds. Projects that bring together communities are at the heart of what the Society works towards. The Society encourages communities to become self-sufficient and grow their own fresh produce as a healthier, low-cost option.”

Penny Snell, Chairman of the National Gardens Scheme, said: “The Elspeth Thompson Bursaries aim to support community projects and include diverse sections of society through horticulture and a community effort. Community gardening was very close to Elspeth's heart and we are delighted to be able to provide these bursaries in her name in partnership with the RHS."

The power of gardening to bring people together is at the core of the work the RHS undertakes in communities across the country. RHS Britain in Bloom is the UK’s largest community gardening campaign, involving more than 300,000 people. As part of RHS Britain in Bloom – and its sister campaign, RHS It’s Your Neighbourhood – volunteers in cities, towns, villages, urban communities and neighbourhoods work together to improve their local environment, using gardening as a tool.


Notes to editors

To request an application form for the NGS Elspeth Thompson Bursary please contact Lizanne Gomez, RHS Bursaries Manager at or call on 01483 479719.
Applications for the bursary are administered by the RHS and must be submitted by 31 December 2014.
For more information, please contact Hattie Sherwood in the RHS Press Office on 020 7821 3126 or email

*RHS Britain in Bloom: Transforming local communities is an Impact Report released in 2010 that looks at the power of community gardening in bringing people together:  

About the RHS
The Royal Horticultural Society was founded in 1804 by Sir Joseph Banks and John Wedgwood for the encouragement and improvement of the science, art and practice of horticulture. We held our first flower shows in 1820, were granted a Royal Charter in 1861 and acquired RHS Garden Wisley, our flagship garden, in 1903. From our first meetings in a small room off London’s Piccadilly, we have grown to become the world’s largest gardening charity.

Today the RHS is committed to providing a voice for all gardeners. We are driven by a simple love of plants and a belief that gardeners make the world a better place. 210 years on we continue to safeguard and advance the science, art and practice of horticulture, creating displays that inspire people to garden. In all aspects of our work we help gardeners develop by sharing our knowledge of plants, gardens and the environment.

RHS membership is for anyone with an interest in gardening. Support the RHS and secure a healthy future for gardening. For more information call: 0845 130 4646, or visit  

About the National Gardens Scheme
The National Gardens Scheme’s Elspeth Thompson Bursary Fund was created in 2011 in memory of Elspeth who was passionate about the role that community gardens could play in people’s lives.
Founded in 1927, The National Gardens Scheme (NGS) has donated more than £22 million to charity in the last ten years.
Registered Charity No. 1112664

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About the RHS

The RHS believes that gardening improves the quality of life and that everyone should have access to great garden experiences. As a charity we help to bring gardening into people's lives and support gardeners of all levels and abilities; whether they are expert horticulturists or children who are planting seeds for the very first time.

RHS membership is for anyone with an interest in gardening. Support the RHS and secure a healthy future for gardening. For more information call: 0845 130 4646, or visit

RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262