A Birmingham farm faced with closure has been saved after an organisation stepped in to keep the farm open.
Balsall Heath City Farm on Malvern St was threatened with closure after its running costs spiralled to £50,000 a year.
The farm which opened in 1980 was created by local residents to bring a part of the countryside to inner Birmingham. But as the farm grew so did its costs and in December 2018 the farm issued a warning that it would be forced unless an organisation stepped in to keep it going.
Thanks to an agreement with The Active Wellbeing Society (TAWS) the farm has been able to secure its long term viability and will remain open for future generations to enjoy.
Working with St. Paul’s Community Development Trust which runs the farm, TAWS wants to use the farm to bring people together and create new opportunities for local residents to be more active and engaged in society.
Chief Executive of St. Paul’s David Cusack said: “We are delighted that we have agreed a partnership with The Active Wellbeing Society that keeps our farm open and will allow both children and adults to use the facilities as a place to learn, volunteer, develop new skills and to just enjoy the facility. I’d like to thank TAWs but also the many people who have rallied around to look at ways to secure the farm’s future, we will continue to raise money through the newly established “Friends of the Farm” to improve the facilities at the farm”
TAWS Chief Executive Karen Creavin said: “The city farm is a vital space for children and families in Birmingham. We are really pleased to be able to work collaboratively with St. Paul’s to ensure that this project has a future and can contribute to the increased wellbeing of our citizens. We are working with Sport England and Birmingham City Council on an initiative called Active Communities. The city farm, and the ongoing partnership with St. Paul’s, will both be a key element of how Active Communities comes to life in this part of the city”.
The Active Wellbeing Society is also working together with The Real Junk Food Project to bring a community kitchen to the farm, offering meals on a ‘Pay as you Feel able basis’. The kitchen will be up and running in time for the summer holidays and will play a vital role in tackling food poverty over the summer.