budding community largeA community turning green to brighten up their local environment and improve local people’s gardening skills in the process.

Supported by the local Pallion ward councillors on the West Area Committee, the Pallion Traders group  have already made massive improvements to the main shopping area at  St Lukes Terrace and are now  enjoying the fruits (and vegetables) of their labours.

The group has secured a £500 grant from the Royal Horticultural Society’s ‘Greening Grey Britain Project’ to improve the street planters and flower beds already in place still further to create even more greenery.

Another £500 has also been provided by the New Wear crossing contractors Farrans Victor Buyck Joint Venture who are working nearby on the construction project at the Pallion end of the bridge, while the Gentoo ‘Green’ environmental improvement project is also supporting the project with £500.

A team of local volunteers is being trained by theRoyal Horticultural Society to help tend the flower beds, planters and hanging baskets and plant trees.

The volunteers and Pallion Traders will eventually take community responsibility for the local flora and fauna, and submit another ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ application this year hoping to get an even higher grade than the RHS Level 3 ‘Developing’  achieved in last year’s awards.

Pallion Ward Councillor Amy Wilson said: “This is a real community led effort, and part of our work with Pallion Traders to make St Luke’s Terrace an even more attractive, pleasant place for people to visit and shop.

“Supporting local business helps create investment and jobs, and working together we can achieve just that.

“The Pallion Traders are helping lead that process, and taking over responsibility for the planters and environmental maintenance shows their commitment to the local area. I’d also like our other business and community partners for their continuing support and funding for this particular project.”

Chair of the Pallion Traders, Richard Downey added: “We want to keep improving the area for people who live here and shop here. Hopefully this new partnership project will attract even more residents and visitors to the shops and businesses along St Luke’s Terrace and boost the local economy.

“Working together we’ve done a lot to make environmental improvements to this area, and have big plans to continue that process.”

Already more than 15 local people have volunteered  to become part of the project, gaining valuable horticultural experience while also help helping  brighten up their local shopping  areas for friends and neighbours to enjoy.

The accredited training includes;

  •  how to plant hanging baskets
  • how to keep soil nourished
  • how to prune flowers to keep them blooming
  • general planter maintenance to ensure flowers thrive throughout the season

Tony Mulholland, Project Manager, Farrans Victor Buyck Joint Venture, said: “We are delighted to be able to assist the traders and residents of Pallion as they expand and maintain the floral displays in the area. It’s a great community effort. We appreciate the roadworks associated with the new bridge, are causing some disruption and would like to thank everyone for the patience they have shown.”

Community Outreach Advisor for the Royal Horticultural Society, Christine Wright added: “The theme of our community campaign is promoting health and happiness through horticulture, and I’m delighted to have been able to work with such an enthusiastic group so keen to improve their neighbourhood here in Pallion.”