Alderside Farm – grow your own fresh vegetables

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Monday, April 30th, 2012

(Left to right) Frances Lockhart, Miceal McCoy (Chair of SOAR LAG), Claire Cunningham (Rural Development Officer, Newry and Mourne District Council) and Cllr George Savage (Chair of SOAR JCC)

Newry farmer Alan Lockhart is encouraging the people of Newry and Mourne to grow their own fresh vegetables, herbs and soft fruit. The creation of 20 kitchen-style allotments on his land complete with car parking, a water harvesting system and compost facility, has been made possible by an investment of over £8,000 from the Local Action Group Southern Organisation for Action in Rural Areas (SOAR) under the Rural Development Programme.

Alderside Allotments welcomes tenants both experienced and novice in the art of gardening. Plots are individually fenced with their own gate and space for a garden shed for tools and equipment. With both water and composting available at each plot, gardeners can rest assured that their crops and plants can get the best of care. Ample car parking and toilet/hand washing facilities are also available.

Speaking to Newry Times, Councillor George Savage, Chairperson of SOAR’s Joint Council Committee, said, “The SOAR grant assistance awarded to this project is a clear indication of how local rural people and businesses can utilise European money for accelerating business creation. Alan Lockhart and his family are now in a position to offer the people of this community a very unique and novel experience.”

Miceal McCoy, Chairperson of SOAR’s Local Action Group said, “This financial assistance from SOAR has enabled Alan Lockhart and his wife Frances to complete this excellent project. This funding is also available to many other types of possible projects which existing and new entrepreneurs are currently thinking of progressing, and I would encourage them to contact SOAR as soon as possible. Our objective in SOAR is to assist local people to improve their quality of life by providing significant investment initiatives similar to our support for Alderside Farm.”

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