This is the website and blog of Dr John Lever.

Friday 15 April 2016

Planning the future of local food; plotting community enterprise at the University of Huddersfield

During a recent research project on the future of local food in Kirklees a local community activist by the name of Stephen Knight drew my attention to an unused plot of land and five derelict greenhouses owned by the University of Huddersfield. Discussions and meetings soon brought a large group of volunteers together - students and staff, as well as organisations and communities from across Kirklees - to work on the development of a new project to grow food for sale on campus.

Led and coordinated by the drive of Dorota Hajdukiewicz from Students for Sustainability, enthusiasm has been high, yet we have had to wait a couple of months while Estates at the University completed the formalities required to facilitate access - we are almost ready to go!

Kirklees has a thriving community food sector and there are many innovative community food enterprises across the borough. Our hope is that this new project can add to the great work already being undertaken by these enterprises and contribute towards taking the Kirklees Food 2020: From Farm to Fork Strategy to the next level. 

I recently accompanied Dorota to a meeting with CASE Social Enterprise Development Services at the University to push forward plans to start a Social Enterprise to run the project. As well as running extra circular activities, including workshops and training opportunities for those interested in a running a social enterprise, the project will promote healthy, organic and local food to students and staff at the university, as well as creating a community engagement space for events with children and adults.

Interest in the project is growing by the day. Next week we have some important visitors. We will keep you updated on progress.

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