Kirkstall Valley Farm nets emergency grant following floods

kirkstall valley farm flood
Kirkstall Valley Farm flooded last month. Photo: KVDT

By John Baron

A community run farm which was badly hit when Storm Eunice caused the River Aire to break its banks last month has been helped by an emergency grant.

Members of Leeds council’s inner west community committee last night agreed a £3,900 grant for Kirkstall Valley Development Trust after around half of the community owned Kirkstall Valley Farm site, situated between Kirkstall Road and the River Aire, flooded.

Councillors heard that while the new multi-million pound flood defences along the Kirkstall Valley stood firm against potential flooding, no measures are in place at the farm site, off Kirkstall Road.

A report considered by councillors said the farm urgently needed a poly tunnel to help the volunteers to keep growing and providing vegetable boxes, some of which go to people who are vulnerable. It adds:

“This is a key time for planting of crops and seeds and will impact on growing for the rest of the year. 

“The need for this polytunnel is now urgent. This grant would allow them to build the polytunnel much quicker than anticipated and consequently [allow them] to keep growing. 

“Some of the vegetable boxes they sell are subsidised and provide veg boxes for families using healthy start vouchers.”

Other projects councillors approved for funding include £8,000 towards this year’s Kirkstall Festival, and £9,998 to Barca Leeds for a young people’s prescribing project in Bramley.

A further £8,000 was granted towards path repairs in Burley Park, following requests from councillors and the Friends of Burley Park group. And £23,618 went to New Wortley Community Centre towards a project towards preventing and reducing the risk of child criminal exploitation.

Eight councillors from Kirkstall, Armley and Bramley & Stanningley wards were in attendance at West Leeds Activity Centre to decide the applications. Councillor James McKenna (Lab, Armley) abstained from some of the decisions, saying the items arrived too late for him to properly consider.

Councillors also sought clarity on declaring interests when deciding funding applications, with information to follow at the committee’s next meeting in July.

The full agenda of the meeting can be read here.

The committee is made up of nine councillors from Armley, Bramley & Stanningley and Kirkstall wards, along with community representatives.


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